The other day I realized, with a start, that baseball season is underway. I haven’t been paying attention, candidly. The fact that the Tribe is expected to be lousy again this year is probably part of the reason; the fact that the Indians’ roster is largely peopled by players I’ve never heard of also is a contributing factor. (Seriously, who are these guys? The Tribe has players named Lou Marson, Vinnie Pestano, and Jack Hannahan, among others.)
The reality, however, is that I’ve been steadily losing interest in sports for a few decades now. I haven’t watched a boxing match since the 1970s and the heyday of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard. I don’t follow the Summer or Winter Olympics and don’t really care if the U.S. wins the most medals. I stopped paying attention to the NBA in the early 1990s, and you really couldn’t pay me to watch an NBA game these days. In golf, I’m down to maybe checking out parts of the four major tournaments. I also feel my interest in the NFL and major league baseball ebbing away, to the point where I have only a vague understanding of which teams are doing well and which aren’t. I still care passionately about college football and college basketball, but that’s about it.
Why is this so? Part of it has to do with the fact that the Cleveland baseball and football teams that I follow have been putrid lately. It’s hard to maintain interest when your team is out of the running before the season is even half over. But the broader issue is that, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that being a sports fan — other than with respect to OSU football and basketball, of course — is kind of a waste of time and energy. I’d rather play golf than watch it. Taking a walk or reading a book or catching up on the news is preferable to spending hours in front of a TV watching a game. And sports talk radio is too insipid for my tastes.
For some reason, this trend bothers me. I actually feel kind of guilty about it.