10/22/2013 09:14 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

It's That Time of the Season... Again

Around this time every year, I tend to feel left out when it comes to sports. (Who am I kidding? I tend to feel left out all the time when it comes to sports.) The last time I paid attention to any team was in 1986. At the time friends were stunned to learn that I was riveted to my television in order to watch Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, Mookie Wilson (Moooo), as well as the others, who were a part of the New York Mets, win their way to the World Series. I picked a good year to be interested, and I was actually looking forward to the following season only to be disappointed that there were trades, and some of the players I'd been rooting for were on other teams. How could that be? It was not the name "New York Mets" that pulled me in but the members who'd made the team. And, I wondered just how the players could have all of a sudden donned the uniform of the same team they'd battled the year before. All right, so money is the driving force. Still, that was the last time I allowed myself to care about a game.

But now that the World Series is about to begin shortly and the football season has already begun, I sit in on conversations where I cannot participate due to lack of knowledge. Therefore, when I do have questions, I am afraid to give them a voice out of fear of sounding ignorant. But it only gets better, since I now have friends who sit over a glass of beer or two talking about their football "Pick 'em" choices. Pick 'em? I had to look up what that actually meant, and was surprised to learn that it's not as simple as choosing which team wins; there are point spreads, where the favorite must beat the underdog by a certain amount. In addition, it matters where the teams play the game, the weather conditions, and even which players may have pulled a muscle that week--all this makes a difference in which team is the favorite and how much they must win by. Okay, so part of me is intrigued and I found a lot of helpful info from MyTopSportsbooks, though I am hesitant to participate any time soon. Why? Because it sounds just too complicated.

I do try, though, to have a basic knowledge about what is going on in the real world of sports. I make it a point to look at the sports section of my newspaper, but after skimming the headlines, I immediately toss it and move on to the arts section. My son-in-law, however, has been patient with me and he sends me links to articles that one of his favorite sportswriters, Gregg Easterbrook, writes. Granted, the links are to articles that aren't about sports, but I suppose it is one way to help me feel a bit less left out when people begin conversations, "How about those Mets?"

You mean the team that won the 1986 World Series? That I can talk about.