So, it lasted 6 days!
Not knowing the Super Bowl result, in fact actively avoiding it, proved to be quite cathartic.
It meant that I didn’t scan any other sports headlines and I stayed away from Grantland – a sports and pop culture web site that also acts as my nemesis / best friend.
I’d stated in the last post that I felt like I had turned the tide on this thing. Being a bit more bullish about ‘protecting myself’ from information and anecdotal stories, as well as friends who respected this position – well, respected it enough not to keep throwing info my way – meant that I was mentally free to focus my energies elsewhere.
Back to where it all began
I’ve only just realised that the weekend away I just had with my wife and friends was at the exact same location where all this began, initiating this social experiment of going a full 12 months without sport and leading to this first piece about stepping away.
Almost 9 months ago I was in the same spot, stuck to the couch and watching meaningless football games and wondering at the end of it all where yet another weekend had gone.
This weekend, however, was different. No reading of sports pages en masse, a funny Friday night movie instead a sporting contest, an afternoon spent genuinely enjoying a very long lunch and chats with Mrs YWS before spending some time putting together my blurb book of my Europe trip. Dinner, drinks and chats with friends and not looking constantly at the screen or the iPhone for score updates.
I was present, engaged, enthused – exactly the point of this whole journey.
It was ironic, therefore, that in the midst of it, I found out that the Patriots lost the Super Bowl.
Before I go on though, I do need to note the irony in the fact that 2 of my good friends still don’t know the result of the Super Bowl and they’re not even avoiding sport. Sometimes it’s just the circles in which you mix and what catches your eye.
At breakfast on the Sunday and flicking through the Herald Sun – of course they would be to blame – I was skimming through while waiting for my BLT. Getting to the sports liftout, I did the look away – so as not to see any headlines / ‘stories’ at all, not just those relating to the game – and kept on with my ‘reading’.
And there, in the middle of the entertainment section, which was yet to be filled with tales of Whitney, was a half-page picture, not of half time superstar Madonna, but of Giants quarterback Eli Manning holding the trophy…
Potential lessons to be learned from this predicament –
- The Herald Sun is inherently evil.
- Serves me right for being ‘anti-social’ at the breakfast table.
- NFL football apparently is ‘entertainment’, not ‘sport’, and I therefore need to visit this topic in a wrestling-esque exposition.
- You can never truly completely detach from the sporting realm.
Did I mention that the Herald Sun is evil??
To put this in perspective here, on a scale of 1 – 10 of how ripped off I felt about having the 6 day streak broken, with 10 being ‘apocalyptic’ and 1 being ‘couldn’t care less’, I was a solid 2.5. I found it more amusing than anything else that of all ways to inevitably find out, it ended up being via the trashy entertainment pages of the Sunday Herald Sun.
Did I mention that I was disappointed that the Patriots lost??
I daresay that if I had watched the game and seen the Pats go down in person, the levels of angst would have been as high as ever. As it was, I felt bad for the team, for quarterback Tom Brady and for a mate who is a big fan, but for myself, little more.
By the time I was up-to-date, the game was in the rear-view mirror and everyone seemed to have moved on. This is exactly as I predicted in the post where I realised that I would be missing the game.
Not the point
In all of this, it was never the point to be completely out of the loop with all sporting news. It’s simply not possible. Redefining the importance of it in my life, getting a healthy dose of perspective and immersing myself in the transcendent things in life was the point, and throughout this journey, there have been far more ticks than crosses.
I am still looking forward a lot to May 24 when the year ticks over and a great part of that can be attributed to this newfound perspective and sense of balance that sport will hold when I return.
Hopefully I can keep that longer than 6 days…