Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Football as a self-analysis tool

For some reason I can’t catch a football without jamming a finger. Maybe it’s the delicate artist hands. Maybe I’m just not tough enough. But this condition really makes football a lot less fun. You know what else makes it not fun? People who really, really care a lot about winning. Winning is apparently a very necessary component of the game for these guys to have fun. And by ‘these guys’ I mean just about everyone but me. I can’t have fun either way since my fingers keep jamming. So it makes me wonder why I’m different than most other guys. When they say things like, “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m out here to win!” I just think to myself, “No, I’m out here wishing someone would throw me the ball so I can jam another finger.” But seriously, despite the pain-riddled digits, I really like catching the ball and running with it. I’ve gotten to do that exactly once this whole season. Why? Because I’m not as good as the other players. So naturally it makes good since for the quarterback to throw it to the more competent players. If he wants us to win. Which he does. Because they need to win to make it fun.

I like cooperative games much better. I like it when everyone wins. I sound like a Care Bear, but that’s ok. So what’s the deal? Why don’t I feel a need to win? I would like to say it’s because I’m more evolved and sophisticated than other men. But that answer has never worked for me in the past, so I don’t think it will now. Let me try the other direction… I don’t like competition and the accompanying conflict because I’m afraid of the emotions that go along with it. Yeah. That seems to fit my personality better. I don’t like winning because I feel bad for the other person. I don’t like losing because I feel bad for me. Why can’t there be more sports where a team is pitted against a natural or environmental challenge?

I don’t think I’ll be playing again next season. I only finished this one out because I felt obligated to the team. I really hate that my mistakes cause other people dismay. So why be involved at all? Well, I started because I like to play sports, I wanted to get to know some guys at church better, and I wanted to stretch myself. So I guess I accomplished my mission. But I’m disappointed that I made the team less effective - and therefore less fun for them - in the process.

Maybe I’ll be better at softball.

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