Sports 101

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_henry miller, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. B_henry miller

    B_henry miller New Member

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    This is an embarrassing thread for me to start, so bear with me, and sorry if I offend anyone in the process.

    Basically, I grew up in a very artistically inclined family that looked down on things the "common man" does, such as spectator sports, etc. (NOTE: I'm not saying that people who are in to sports can't also be artistic. I'm just saying that in my upbringing, I was basically taught that artistic people were better than the common mass of men who like spectator sports.)

    But lately, I find myself interested in sports. All of it, football, baseball, rugby, even, yikes, professional wrestling. The thing is, though, I don't know anything about any of it, so I can't really talk to any other guys about it for fear of revealing my ignorance. And I can't really tell friends and family about my interest because they'd be disappointed in me.

    Okay, so the question is .... Those of you who know something about sports, where should I start? What is the most basic information I should know?

    Sorry if this sounds stupid of me. This is a real question, though I understand unimaginable for some people. (I recently asked one guy a very basic question: "Who are the Mariners? What sport do they play?" He gave me a funny look and said, "Did you just get here from Mars?")
     
  2. southernstud

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    Just start watching ESPN....lots of ESPN. Eventually, you pick up on lingo and begin to understand the system. It's a lot like learning anything else, how do we learn about politics? We get involved.
     
  3. Calcium

    Calcium New Member

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    Learn your hometown teams. Learn your hometown stars. Watch your hometown teams play other teams. Expand from there. Also, once you have a basic bit of knowledge, do not be afraid to admit ignorance on any subject. You'll learn more.
     
  4. bigbull29

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    I know things about sports because that's all I ever heard from other people growing up. It was forced down my throat (only my mother hated sports and did she ever:mad:)

    Everything you need to know can be learned by doing one simple thing: expose youself to the sports world (no doubt, they'll love ya for it and you'll be instantly considered as one of the "boys"). How could it be hard to learn? It's what the masses love.:biggrin1: ( I hate sports, btw). Just listen to sport nuts, and within minutes, the mind-numbing sports lingo will be engrained in your head for life. For goodness sake, little children can understand most of it if they're around it all the time.
     
  5. Hockeytiger

    Hockeytiger Active Member

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    1) Focus on one sport and expand from there.

    2) My suggestion would be to do basic Internet research to pick up the basic rules. In addition, if you are willing to spend a little money you might want to pick up "An Idiot's Guide to ...". Those books tend to organize things well for the beginner and by the time you have finished it, you will have more than a passing familiarity with the subject and may be able to hold your own in a basic conversation. When you have done that, learn some of its history, like famous players, retired and current, infamous rivalries, scandals, etc.

    3) Watch a fair amount of the sport, but don't overdo it.

    4) Don't allow yourself to be intimidated just because you don't know everything.

    5) remember to enjoy yourself
     
  6. D_Jurgen Klitgaard

    D_Jurgen Klitgaard Account Disabled

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    You will be surprised how much you can pick up on a subject just by exposing yourself to it just a little bit.

    For example, I know jack shit about the mechanics of cars and motorcycles besides the fact that I think they are works of art. I really got into all the car shows and motorcycle shows like American Chopper on Discovery and TLC.

    After some time of being exposed to that stuff, I picked up on lingo and the general mechanics of how these beautiful machines actually work and my love for those things just grew even more.


    I hope that helps a little bit. Just start out slow and before long you will have the basics down.
     
  7. Mandee

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    Hmmmm I don't really like sports much, except tennis, and really I don't know much about it, but I did play for a year in high school and I absolutely loved it!! :)
     
  8. B_henry miller

    B_henry miller New Member

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    Thanks for the responses, everyone. I'm surprised. I didn't think anyone would respond.

    I guess I'm interested in the athleticism of sports. Lately, I can understand why so many people are interested in sports -- at least from an athletic perspective. I couldn't care less who wins what. I don't understand why people get all worked up over this or that team winning, when most teams are made up of people from other towns anyway.

    I guess I'm interested in a somewhat systematic overview. For example, which are the biggest sports in the US, and which teams within those sports are the most important? What is the difference between minor league and major league? etc?

    I've actually tried to watch ESPN, but I'm hopelessly lost there. It goes back to not ultimately giving a damn which team wins, but being more interested in the athleticism of it all.

    From what I can gather, these are the biggest sports in the US, in order:

    FOOTBALL

    BASEBALL

    BOXING

    PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING

    Okay, anyone agree, disagree, etc.? And which are the biggest teams within these sports, etc? Thanks.
     
  9. _avg_

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    Pride, mostly. And not just "hometown pride," either. A lot of it is simply being proud of "picking the winner"....of 'guessing right'....and of being on the winning team's side. That sort of thing.


    In terms of viewership and revenue, I believe it goes:

    Football
    Basketball
    NASCAR
    Baseball
    Golf

    Pro Wrestling, despite what you may have heard, is not a sport.

    Within these sports, there's a breakdown between college and pro (except for NASCAR) but I will only discuss pro sports (for simplicity...and because I could care less about college sports). The "most important teams" (which I read as "most popular") are usually the winning-est teams, so the novice does need to concern themselves a bit with the Ws and Ls. Others would be the teams with long histories and/or large markets (eg Major cities). I'd probably identify the following (very limited list of) teams:

    Football -- NE Patriots, IND Colts, DAL Cowboys, PHI Eagles, MIA Dolphins, OAK Raiders
    Basketball -- LA Lakers, SA Spurs, PHX Suns, DAL Mavericks, BOS Celtics, NY Knicks, CHI Bulls
    NASCAR -- n/a
    Baseball -- NY Yankees, NY Mets, CHI Cubs, BOS Red Sox, STL Cardinals, ATL Braves
    Golf -- n/a

    Stars vs. Fill-ins
    (Minor league is like a "practice squad" of players who could 'move up' to the majors)

    Yeah, you have to care somewhat about that otherwise these competitions are just exhibitions; the thing about the major sports is that they are "result driven." Most folks could care less how fast or how well Joe Schmoe runs -- about his "athleticism" -- unless he wins them some games.
     
  10. SpeedoGuy

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    Do sports. Don't spend much time watching sports or talking about sports. Find a sport or two you enjoy (and can afford) and do it.
     
  11. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    I would suggest that you pick up a book or two about the basics of the sport, and its rules and regulations ... you'll understand the actions and consequences of the rulings ... that'll give you insight into the relative strengths and shortcomings of different teams, so when thaty talk about this team's defense, running game, offensive strength ... so on

    let's not forget hockey

    Vancouver Canucks will rule the World!
     
  12. Northland

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    Read the sports pages, watch the sports reports on the television news, listen to the sports reports on the radio, read books on baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, golf and any other sport which grabs your interest. Subscribe to a couple of sports magazines. When others discuss sports listen to what they are saying and gradually you will start contributing as well.
     
  13. jorpollew

    jorpollew Member

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    Thanks for starting this thread. Similarly, I also grew up in a more culturally-focused background. I can fully appreciate the pianist who effortlessly performs a 4-5 finger trill, as well as a nicely arranged quodlibet. But in sports, what the hell is a hat trick, or does playing "in the paint" mean?!

    All I know about football is that the team gets 7 pts for scoring a touchdown, and in basketball it's 2 or 3 points for dunking a basket. Also, I do understand the basic rules of (and how to play) baseball, but that's it. Nothing else. I don't know or understand anyting about stats, tech plays, trades, lingo or even the players-- except the very high-profile ones. (And I only know about Johns Runyun and Rocker, b/c I heard that they were enormously hung!)

    I love learning new stuff, and have always been open to it. But the reality is that real sports enthusiasts have neither the patience nor the inclination to explain sports to anyone. It's beneath them. No one wants to explain what is happening DURING THE GAME. And after the game, I can't recount the individual plays that people talk about. They all look alike to me!

    I've tried watching ESPN, but if you don't know the lingo or the players, then it's all like mumble-jumbo. I tried reading a book years ago. In theory, it makes sense on paper, but you can't really "get it" until you can connect it to real-life play, which sporters don't want to talk about DURING THE GAME!

    To anyone that has ever expressed to me an interest in learning more about music, theater, literature or art, I have happily given my own "beginner's course" of Arts101. But that has never been the case went I expressed an interest in learning sports.

    The suggestions and advice on this posts are all well-intentioned, but IMO they fall short of desired outcomes and results. My question is, which sporter has actually taught his own version of Sports101, and successfully trained a novice sports enthusiast? How did that work? Was ESPN and a textbook all it took?

    Funny story: Several years ago at my job, I filled in the brackets and won a college basketball pool-- about $200. All "the guys" were shocked, but they congratulated me and wanted to know my strategy. Hunh??!! A strategy??!! I couldn't admit this then, but I totally based my decision on the 4 teams that I thought had the best-looking players! I kept putting their names on the brackets, b/c I'd want to see them play again. I don't remember the year, the teams or who won, but I think three of them got to the Finale Four. That was the only time I was treated as "one of the guys", and my respect quotient was way up. But it was short-lived. Still, no one invited me to hang out at the sports bar for happy hour.
     
  14. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    That's how I picked it up ... I grew up as an intellectual without any knowledge of sports whatever ... in college I took up fencing ... then my roomie in law school told me to check out the guys he was watching on television --- the New Zealand Allblacks were doing the Maori wardance known as the Haka, at the start of one of their matches, against France, I believe ... they beat the French, which thrilled me no end (I'm Francophobic) ... then I took up that sport, and am now a genuine enthusiast ... then two years I came across this hetero hottie that I wanted to know more about, found out he was big on, and followed the major American sports (i.e., football, baseball, hockey, etc) ... decided to finally learn about them, so that I could carry a conversation with him .. even took up boxing, so that I could get a better feel and understanding of that sport .. a lot of my old innate elitism still guides me -- I won't follow basketball, as it's too inner city for my sensibilities, and Nascar I equate with six packs, beerbellies, and bowling ... ditto Rodeo and wrestling
     
  15. B_henry miller

    B_henry miller New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. But it's not gonna happen. I'm not old, but I'm too old to start a sport. And, again, I'm not interested in who wins, etc. I'm just tired of being ignorant.
     
  16. B_henry miller

    B_henry miller New Member

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    Thanks. This is the type of post I was hoping for. Just the very basics, and organized.

     
  17. B_henry miller

    B_henry miller New Member

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    You understand completely. No one wants to explain sports because it is beneath them.

    To be honest, I think that this accumulation of knowledge about sports is part of the "pride" people take in it all. Someone above mentioned that the pride of being on the winning side is what is most important to most people, in other words, the competition. I think that knowledge about sports itself becomes a competition.

    I think that, bottom line, people don't want to admit (or perhaps don't realize) that it's all very simple. I think people just make it complicated. But that's the way it is with most things in life; people try to make things they do seem more complicated than they really are -- because it makes them feel special about themselves.

    Thanks. So far, you're the person who really understands what I'm dealing with here.

     
  18. dreamer20

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    I agree with _avg_ that "Professional wrestling" isn't a sport. It's mostly stage managed entertainment.


    You're not too old. You're only 26.:biggrin1:
     
  19. nudeyorker

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    First let me start by saying I have an Undergrad degree in Physical Education and Dance Theatre.
    Secondly I feel you can learn anything except brain surgury and landing a 747 by reading a book. (start with Sports for Dummies)
    Last but not least...start reading the sports page!
     
  20. SpeedoGuy

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    Yikes. That's a bummer. I'm dismayed by any sports fan (or afficionado of anything else) who is too good to take the time to introduce a rookie to the basics or fine points of a sport. Teaching others makes us more knowledgeable and informed.

    Well said. And that's why I urge you do sports rather than talk about sports. Live life rather than sit passively by to watch other people live life.

    At the risk of being trite, I'll quote an overused advertising campaign:

    Just do it.

    Good luck, Henry.
     
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