Q: I’ve never understood sports. My friends are SOOOO into it but I just can’t get excited. I really WANT to, though! How do I learn to like a team?
A: Look. You like TV shows, right?
Well. Sports are some of the BEST television ever. If you’re into dramas like Game of Thrones, Soap Operas, MSNBC vs FOX type political back and forths or Reality Television…Sports is all that. It’s the realest shit you gonna see. If you follow this guideline- you will be into sports just as deep as your friends (if not more so).
Pick A Sport.
I’m going to recommend Football (NFL) but you can choose any sport you like.
Football is the easiest to watch as most games are on Sunday and typically don’t go longer than scheduled; so it’s easy to fit them into your regular schedule.
Also- the start and stop nature of the game makes it easier for you to learn what is going on AND the basic rules are not that difficult.
PLUS…a new Football season is RIGHT around the corner so now is a good time to get in.
Pick A Team.
Doesn’t matter which or the reason why you pick them- but you need to root for someone if you wanna “get” sports.
You can pick them because that’s your hometown (which is popular) or because it’s a place you would like to go.
You could pick a team because someone you don’t like hates them- OR just because you like their uniforms.
I know someone who likes the Green Bay Packers because the team is actually owned by Green Bay.
So, It doesn’t matter WHY you pick a team. Just pick one (though, if you pick a team SOLELY because they win a lot- people are going to think you’re an asshole if they find out- silly but true).
Read About That Team
I know. I know! “I don’t wanna read!”
Who are we kidding, though?
You read all those damn George R. Martin books. You read comic books. You read Facebook.
Read a little something about the team. Even a Wiki could work.
What you are looking for is the HISTORY of the team- This way you will understand the RIVALRY between the team you chose and their worst enemy…the same way you understand the bad blood between the Starks and the Lannisters.
If you wanna go REAL deep- there are plenty of books that chronicle the history of any team you can think of; AND they ARE interesting! So pick one up.
Watch A Doc.
So- you probably perused a Wiki and thought that was it…NOPE. Watch a documentary about the team you picked just to drill what you read about into your head.
Now, I KNOW some of you skipped 3. DO NOT SKIP 4! Watch a documentary on your team.
In fact- I challenge you to watch THIS documentary and see if at the end you don’t understand how crazy rivalries can get:
Pick A Player(s) To Follow
All the teams have star players. And because they are star players you can learn a lot about them but don’t limit yourself to that. Every player has a background and most are pretty interesting.
Once you find a player to like- you can have something else to root for like cheering on Iron Man when the Avengers throw down.
Fantasy and LIGHT gambling.
Okay. If you can’t find a reason to root for a team by now- SURELY self interest will draw you in. The Fantasy version of your sport can be scary on the surface because you think everyone else knows what’s going on and you don’t- so you don’t wanna look stupid in front of them.
But DIVE IN…most people DON’T know what the hell they are doing OR make biased decisions because they’ve fallen in love with a team already and can’t root against any of their players…you won’t have that handicap. You don’t give a shit about anything but winning so you’ll learn what’s up quick.
BUT- if you don’t wanna learn- and just want to root for a straight up and down win or loss on a team…put a bet on it. A LIGHT bet, dumbass! Sports- unlike reality television- IS REAL. So even when you THINK you know what’s going to happen…it could totally NOT happen.
Never bet anything you aren’t ready to lose.
And that’s it. If you do these things, not only will you understand and enjoy sporting events- you will probably know more about them than you friends do. Now get out there and watch some damn sports with the rest of us, slacker.