My favorite sport is Polo, then Rodeo; which are expensive sports that only a few thousand people get to participate in in the US. It pretty much costs you $100,000 to get set up before your first competition, and then it is a steady outflow for new horses, new pick-ups, and new trailers every couple years. Because those sports are very time consuming (with daily chores), I did not get to experience them until I was an older teen. Later I learned, similar to most professional type competitors, that we are at our best when we are 20 something and single. Those glory days do not last forever and then it becomes a fight for survival. More than that though, I can honestly say that the sports' danger aspect gave me something that I can not explain to fans of other sports. Besides cuts and bruises, a concussion is $3500, a separated shoulder is $700, and being " life flighted" out of town will run about $10,000.
The best way I can describe it is:
Perhaps NASCAR drivers experience the same kind of emotional release during and after they compete. For me that same release in smaller volume comes while a group of us were sitting next to the fence watching my friends compete. What I am saying is: you become a different kind of fan, and when your time in the sun is done; you have to make yourself turn your back on the one true love of your young life. Thank gawd that there is marriage and family after that, because it helps get you over it.
Regardless of what I once was, my favorite sports have been put on the bench for the last 10 years while my son learns to do well at the sports he chooses. We, his parents, never miss a game or practice and that means we are with him instead of being home watching a game on TV or computers. Would I be a big fan of baseball and other team sports if my son was not currently playing... probably not. And yet, it is a very big deal for us when I arrange a trip to see the professionals play baseball and soccer. Sitting in the stands, amidst the peanut shells and sticky soda pop, and screaming our hearts out over a base hit; is very special because we are together, and seemingly part of a larger effort.
So what is it like watching a youth pick a sport as his favorite?
Like most medium sized and skinny boys, my son likes baseball and soccer best because practice makes him a lot better than his friends. He took one look at football and said, "If I play hard; I am probably going to get hurt." Oppositely, some of the boys that get bench slivers in baseball; have looked at football and said, "OMG I can hardly wait to get out there and kill anyone smaller than me."
(Hunting "game" once gave me that same kind of a feeling.)
Sure, my son plays league basketball but says, "They do not let me play enough to satisfy me." That can be a downer for a young kid, when height or mass is the main prerequisite for opportunity. It kind of, steals the satisfaction from you; when you realize that playground ball and two on two with friends is about the best you can ask for. But meanwhile he has also found love in archery, BB guns, fencing, and skiing... and he is an avid survivalist camper. So I am guessing that my son will not miss basketball to much when some coach finally chooses his 10 players. I could throw a lot of money at it, and probably make certain that my son was chosen as the 10th player on the team; but then his dissatisfaction would still be in his heart, instead of being channeled else where.
Don't get me wrong: He will undoubtedly still enjoy watching a seven foot man drive to the hoop, through 9 other seven footers; when his son is growing up.
Last edited by tomtomboombang; 02-22-2012 at 08:29 PM.