Not liking sports is counter cultural. At times, you may feel under siege by the rah-rah cheering majority. Every now and then, or almost always if you are not very self-assured, you will feel the need to strike back.
Counter cultural behavior can easily turn you into the office, party, or neighborhood ass.
Know an atheist? The person you thought of first is probably an asshole. There are plenty of other atheists out there getting along fine. But the one who popped into your head is the dork who has to argue with everyone. He or she posts and tweets snarky and provocative comments, worships a flying pasta monster to show everyone how silly they are, and laughs at the attempts of others to find meaning in their lives.
Picture the first guy you ever met in a Toyota Prius. The vegan or the glutton-free dude. That lady who is adamant about riding her bike to work instead of walking. Chances are a lot of the people pictured in your mind are assholes. They give other atheists, Prius drivers, vegans, glutton haters, and bike riders a bad name.
Don’t do that to us. Avoid becoming a robotic asshole like the one depicted in this almost funny but also kind of mean College Humor skit.
Here are five tips to help you maintain your self-respect while not pissing jocks and their followers off.
1. Wait – when the subject of sports comes up, do not sigh, roll your eyes, or decide to let everyone else know how stupid they are. Hold off for a few minutes until the subject changes. If it doesn’t, decide whether you want to stay or leave. Of course, don’t announce why you are leaving. All of this is particularly important if kids are involved. Don’t sabotage your kids if they want be a part of the conversation. You may lose them, but the little tikes can still live happy and fulfilled lives among the athletic masses.
2. Come prepared with something more interesting – the pressure to improve society rests squarely on your shoulders. Knowing this can quickly turn you into an asshole, so keep that responsibility to yourself. Come to work prepared with an interesting fact, a funny tidbit about your kids, or a weird question to pose. Preempt conversations about sports with your hilarious anecdote or wait until a moment of silence to bring it up. Also, remember that people find themselves infinitely more interesting than they find you. Have a question for them at the ready. “Hey Sally, how’s Bowser doing on his house training?” “Joe, did you finish your basement?” “Anyone see the Walking Dead last night? How about that zombie quarterback? Wasn’t it great when Rick took him out with a machete?”-
3. Endure – If you have already announced to people that you don’t like sports, that was your fault not theirs. These guys are going ask you about yesterday’s game in the most condescending voice they can manage. Eyes are going to roll. Elbows will nudge. You are weird, and they feel better about themselves by pointing it out. Either that or it is all mindless teasing because they do not know what else to say to someone who avoided the Bears game.
4. Find something interesting to fill your time – Sports exist for a couple reasons. At a basic level, they are a way for physically fit people to prove to prospective mates that they are capable of reproducing. But sports also provide community and a way for folks to connect across generations and social groups. Admit it; you are jealous that others have this connection. So go get one of your own. I write, and I’ve found many men and women who connect with me in our ongoing struggle to write something decent and maybe get someone else to read it. Others find religion, draw, garden, or attend steam punk fairs and comic book conventions. Make sure you belong somewhere so you do not become the robotic asshole who shits on everyone else’s fun. This will also give the awkward sports fan something to ask about instead of razzing you about your lack of balls.
5. Do not write a blog about not liking sports – that’s just pointless and annoying.
The fifth one is probably the most important.