Doctor, can you help me? The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and I do not care. I feel nothing. That is not normal, right? I cannot even tell you the names of the teams that are playing. Am I missing the sports gene?
I always thought my aversion to athletics stemmed from the fact that I was gay. Professional sports are not exactly gay-friendly, what with all the sports stars spewing "faggot" at each other when they get angry. And I hated gym when I was a kid. Maybe that's when it started? I was always picked last for a team. I was told I threw "like a girl." I knew some girls who threw really well, so that didn't make a whole lot of sense. Oh, and I loathed dodgeball. In junior high school all the boys were put in a big, padded room, and the bullies were encouraged to let loose their aggressions by whipping the balls extremely hard at the "less athletic." In other words, dodgeball was organized gay bashing. But my gay friends today are not damaged like me. They are totally sports-crazed, glued to their billboard-sized televisions on game days just like everybody else. What is wrong with me?
I have tried to get into sports. I really have. Concerned friends have invited me to Super Bowl parties in the past. They try to explain football to me while we watch, but then they hoot and holler like crazy when someone does something that is seemingly inconsequential, like walking over a line or dropping a ball. It is all so confusing. Yards, downs, flags being thrown all around. I cannot follow it. I watch all the wrong things -- the players' tight pants, the graphics that overlay the live action. Commercials and the half-time show are way more interesting than the actual game.
There are commentators on these shows who are supposed to help you. Big, burly, beefy guys in striped suits and striped shirts. They sit in a semicircle and analyze everything. But to me, it is as if they are speaking a foreign language. These men have encyclopedic knowledge of things that make absolutely no sense. They know how many yards some player ran four years ago, or they know the exact number of times a right-handed player threw the ball to a left-handed player in the rain on a Tuesday. How do they remember this stuff? Each one is like a sports Rain Man.
I long to feel the same hyperinflated emotion, the pure joy, that a rabid fan feels when his or her team wins the Super Bowl. Have I ever experienced that scale of elation any time in my life? Maybe I would feel it if I won the lottery, or if same-sex marriage were made legal. But those are once-in-a-lifetime moments. A sports fan can feel that grand excitement any day of the week just by turning on ESPN. Why can't I be like everybody else?
Is there a pill I could take? A sports reparative therapy? Maybe I could join a support group, an Athletically Challenged Anonymous meeting?
The symptoms get worse around the time of the big games, series, cups, and bowls. I feel so lonely, like the sole human after a zombie apocalypse. The game will be playing everywhere! Everyone will be wearing their team colors, talking statistics, placing bets. There is nowhere to hide. Please, help!