When Joseph Craven was in Canada, he asked me an important question.
It was a question long time coming, and it needed an answer. He had been dancing around it for weeks, but afraid to really come out and say it. In the midst of our messages, emails and Skype sessions, he didn’t have the courage to ask the question that had been building up for a good month or so. That is, until we were together in person. One evening he decided it was time to ask his question and hear my answer, regardless of the outcome. With a serious look on his face, he looked me in the eye and said,
“Amanda, why haven’t you posted that guest post I sent you?”
Here is that guest post. Sorry it’s a month and a half late.
It’s Not About Sports
By Joseph Craven
Amanda asked me to write a guest post for her. I can’t really figure out why.
She might have done it just because I asked her to do the same and she figured I owed it to her. I get that. But I can’t understand what she would have to gain by featuring me on her blog and ruining her reputation.
But here we are. I suppose maybe I should feel sorry for doing this to her. Oh well.
Regardless, she was very, VERY clear that I was NOT allowed to write about sports. That’s fine with me. She doesn’t like sports, so I am not allowed to write about sports. That’s cool.
This is a guest post that is NOT going to be about sports. At all.
But I just don’t understand why she felt the need to give me these guidelines. In fact, I don’t get why everyone instantly assumes that I’m just a sports guy. It seems that more and more of my friendships, both online and in real life, involve people just automatically assuming that my favorite thing in the world is sports. (Sports in this case is considered singular, right? I would say “is sports” instead of “are sports” in this case, wouldn’t I? Just checking.)
Do I watch sports? Sure. Do I enjoy them? Absolutely. Is that all I am? Of course not.
I mean, I suppose I can understand why the assumption is made. I grew up in a sports loving family. I have a walking sports encyclopedia of a brother. The man now makes a living by talking about sports. You can ask him who was the World Series MVP in 1975, and he just knows it off the top of his head. At least, I assume it’s something he would know. Because that’s the sort of thing he does.
But that’s not me. I grew up running around in circles outside pretending sticks were guns and I was fighting dinosaurs. Is that weird? Yes. Look, I’ll admit that. But I had crazy imagination skillz, so that’s what I worked with. I’m not ashamed. And hey, it kept me from getting into trouble. Though I guess I ran the risk of getting hit by a car in the process.
Sure, my family would take trips on the weekends to watch college football. But I wasn’t terribly interested in the game most of the time. I can’t even really tell you about many of the big games I attended before like….2004. And I was at them. I watched them in person. And don’t remember much of anything.
In fact, I didn’t get interested at all in sports until I was nearly out of high school. I may have been on the basketball team, but that was solely because I went to a tiny school that needed tall people to play. I wasn’t talented. I wasn’t coordinated. I certainly wasn’t good. I just did it because I was asked to. And it seemed like maybe I would enjoy it if I did.
I didn’t. Not until I was about to graduate, anyway.
On top of all of that, I didn’t learn to throw a football until I was in college. And even then, I use the terms “learn”, “how to”, and “do things correctly” loosely. Nobody taught me how to. I just had to guess as to how to do it, so naturally, it doesn’t look very good. There’s a spiral there, but it’s a spiral in only the loosest sense of the word.
That’s a football throwing pun, by the way. Much like my throw, it’s not a very good one.
Do I love sports? Of course I do. It’s grown on me over the years. I think that you have to understand sports at least to an extent just to get a grasp on culture. We, as a people, throw billions of dollars into the sports industry. Agree or disagree with that, you can’t deny that it’s a priority in our society.
And you can’t ignore that fact. Last I checked, we don’t have entire television channels dedicated to Claude Monet, but I sure had to learn about him in class.
I love music. Does that make me a music guy? I love architecture. Does that make me a building guy? I love lists of three. Does that make me a list guy?
Of course not. Those are just parts of a whole.
So this entire instant association that people make with me? Just instantly assuming I’m a sports guy? Sometimes, it gets old.
There are other things I can talk about. I’m not some meathead jock with his letter jacket and a crew cut. In fact, I’m pretty sure those are all stereotypes of jocks that nobody even really believes anymore. I’m even out of date with the stereotypes here, guys!
I’m not limited to just one thing.
Here’s your post, Amanda. It’s not about sports.
I am now well aware of the reason why it took a month and a half to post this.