My dad was an athlete all through college and high school, and so, like most dads with only daughters, attempted to instill in me a love of sports. And it worked for many, many years. I could still explain the basic mechanics of football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and even soccer (it was more impressive in the 80s before it was "cool"). However, something very important happened at the end of my adolescence that turned me off of sports forever.
I went to college.
And suddenly, I became part of "the team." I was no longer an individual fan, cheering for whichever team I liked better based on record or players, or hell, even which colors or mascot I liked better. No, I was now a Bruin, who hated Trojans at all costs. Ironically, it was mostly Trojans who informed me of this.
While I'm all for a little friendly competition, I never really got the cross-town rivalry thing. *I* wasn't on the team. None of the Trojans that razzed me about being a Bruin played on any of the sports teams. But somehow, we were bitter enemies because our schools shared a Zip Code.
The most bizarre thing is, this kind of mass hypnosis doesn't stop at college. Tell a Raiders fan that you root for the Cowboys and you're all but persona non grata. Or try to explain to an Angels Rally Monkey why you like the 49ers so much. I dare you.
But that might not have deterred me if it wasn't for the chauvinism and condescension I get from the male fans whenever I show the slightest interest in sports. Either my questions about the legality of a move are met with jeers, or my translation of the mechanics to a fellow female are met with fascination. It's as though my gender precludes me from comprehending the mechanics of manipulating a ball around a field.
So a few years ago, I gave up. I have no real love for sports apart from an understanding instilled in me by my father, so I think I will simply leave the cheering to the true fans. At least until I'm old enough not to care about the other stuff.