Since I was about 16, I haven’t really found any joy in watching others play sports. That is, at least not on TV. Sure, attending a live sporting event can be a blast even if you really don’t like the sport. The atmosphere of the crowd can pull you into it, especially if it’s a good game and even more so if the game is high stakes. That said though, I never watch them on TV.
Since moving to Madison I’ve found that the crew of kids I’m hanging out with really loves watching sports. They look for any incentive to do it. If they think they’re going to be bored watching a sporting event, they bet on it just so they can care while watching it. Then it’s no longer boring to them. I don’t get this. Are they really that bored if they’re not watching sports? Perhaps, but I don’t think so.
All this said, yesterday I found myself watching the last hour of the India vs. Pakistan cricket match at my friend’s apartment. My friend is Indian and the other two people he invited over to watch are also Indian so when they lost it was a great disappointment for them. However, for me it was quite invigorating. Not that I wanted Pakistan to win (I didn’t), but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed watching it. Now I’m not entirely certain but I’d guess that I liked it so much because it was new and foreign and I was constantly asking questions to learn and understand what was going on.
Watching sports to me is usually such an unengaged process. I can turn my brain off and just wait until I see the big hit, the big throw, the big shot, whatever it is. With cricket I was constantly engaged, trying to understand what was happening. It makes me think I should start watching more sports I don’t understand and it also makes me think I should try watching more cricket. I’m curious now to know if I just really like cricket or I really like learning. Either way, it should be an interesting experiment.
So, now I’m curious. How do you watch sports? What makes them engaging to you? Leave a comment with your thoughts.