May. 24, 2015
An Introduction to The Finer Sports
First blog posts are awkward.
You have the option of just jumping in there. It's something I considered: finding an NFL training camp report or ice dance team split and just putting my feelings out there, in the hopes that someone will want to read about them. But this is too weird of a blog concept to throw out there with no context. So here's my context.
I grew up on NFL football and figure skating. I learned about football in the usual way, with Bears games as the soundtrack to my Sunday afternoons. My dad was obsessed; my mom rolled her eyes. I learned the rules and conventions of the game by osmosis, but I didn't start caring until graduate school in Connecticut. The Patriots won the Super Bowl during my first New England winter, and Tom Brady became my football boyfriend for life, Deflategate be damned. Sports fandom is about love and loyalty, not logic, so my favorite AFC team is a band of sleazy douchebags, and my favorite NFC team keeps re-signing Jay Cutler. Plus, I have a soft spot for the Oakland Raiders and a fascination with Cam Newton's towel.
Figure skating, on the other hand, was my sport when I was a kid. I had no talent but tons of determination, and ice skating is a great outlet for a hyperactive, artsy introvert. I have landed an axel jump and a few shaky doubles but did not get much farther than that. At a public skating session, I am the aging hipster speeding past the hockey players. At home, I am up at strange hours of morning to watch live feeds of competitions in East Asia so I can shout into the void about how it's not a triple toe loop unless you actually go around three times in the air and land on one foot. With football, I understand the rules of the game and have developed some analytical instincts; with skating, I'm a know-it-all armchair quarterback. I judge ladies' singles skaters and ice dance teams on whether they bore me. I assess men's singles (my favorite) on their adherence to the legacy of Kurt Browning and their confidence while wearing rhinestones in public. I occasionally remember that pairs and synchro exist.
My best friend is obsessed with the Blackhawks, which means I get really excited about hockey every so often. I follow NCAA gymnastics more closely than anyone needs to. Sometimes I'll catch a tennis tournament or a Bulls game or some college football. During the Summer Olympics, I'm a total wildcard, suddenly overinvested in judo or women's handball. Mostly, I just love having opinions about sports and putting them into words. This seems like as good a place as any to make that happen.