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Posts Tagged ‘Casual Sports’

Something on Facebook last night got me thinking, thinking about myself and being a “fan”. With the possible exception of UMD hockey, I don’t think I can label myself as a “fan” for sports anymore. I may count certain things as interests, but I don’t think “fan” applies. Seems to me that to label myself a “fan” there’s all kind of stuff that goes along with that.

In cases like the NFL, NBA, MLB, even the NHL, I certainly wouldn’t call myself a fan. I’m not even certain how much I’m interested in them. The four leagues combined I’m not sure if I’ve watched more the three games in the last four years; haven’t watched one Superbowl, NBA Final, World Series, or Stanley Cup finals game in that time. I may hear about things going on in any of those league in my car each day, but whatever is being said I’m only mildly interested in, listening to sports talk radio is just something to have on, instead of silence, when I’m not wanting to listen to music. Like how Bostonians (is that the word?) are up in arms regarding the conduct of the Red Sox players. I heard about on the radio, but I really had no interest in any of it, it doesn’t matter to me.

Like I said UMD may be the exception, I may still label myself as a UMD “fan”, but even then I’m not so certain. I get plenty of enjoyment out of it and was very glad UMD won the National Title last season, their NCAA run was amazing. Still, if UMD was to zero wins for the next decade I really don’t think that would matter that much to me, I don’t have any expectations regarding team “performance”. Even with zero wins in a decade, I’d still want to go to games and I can’t see myself being one of the people who would be calling for a coach firing or any such thing.

It’s kind of been a lot of things that are why I’m a lot more mellow regarding sports compared to a decade ago. I’ve come to realize that “relax, it’s just a game” (this one is good too) so it’s not so often that I get worked up about sports anymore. I guess that’s why I’ve come to appreciate NCAA Division II, Division III, and junior hockey; the games are treated as just games, you don’t see the other stuff that you do in D-I or professional leagues.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I am not a “sports fan”, I’m someone who finds sports interesting from time to time.

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Last night I watched Carleton’s women’s football(soccer) team play UW-La Crosse; Ellie Wilson scored in the second overtime for a Knights 1-0 win, Beth Ashinsky got the shutout. 

I picked up Kaelyn and we went to watch it (missed the first half) and Amy showed up after she was done with work (although they both left early, Kaelyn had an accident – she’s still learning to use the toilet).  Not a lot of great chances, but the play was pretty even and both teams came close to scoring a couple of times in regulation (Carleton hit the bar once).

Going to watch either of the Carleton football teams play in the fall is really wonderful.  You sit on a grass-covered hill, with the game going on below you, with the fall-colored trees in the background, and occasional Canadian Honkers flying by.  Really, there’s not much that can compare. 

Sitting there I just couldn’t help thinking that it sure seems that Division II and Division III NCAA athletics is what sports are supposed to be.  It could be just me though, judging from “professional” sports and NCAA Division I attendance.  Division II and Division III athletics is wonderful because:

  • There’s no problem getting to the event – traffic is either non-existent or not really a problem
  • It’s cheap to watch; sometimes it’s free, but even when you do pay you’re not having to worry about cost like when you go to Division I or “professional” sports game (paying for tickets, paying for parking, ticket processing fees, etc).
  • Very little fanatical stuff going on;  people are just simply watching the game, cheering for their team, and it’s very rare you see the “woofing” that happens in the Division I or “profession” sporting events.  Going to a D-II or D-III game you’re a ton less likely to encounter violence than at a D-II or “professional” sporting event.
  • Little to no advertising: Watching the game you are subjected to almost no ads, certainly none of the “that blocked punt was brought to you by Ed’s furniture and firearms.  Just remember if you want a new sofa and are worried about protecting it, come to Ed’s”. 
  • Rivalries/conferences:  Especially with the recent conference changes in Division I (gridiron-)football and hockey, it just seems that the conferences don’t make a lot of sense (Seriously, Colorado is in the Pac-10? What’s “Pac” about Colorado?).  Case in point, the MIAC has 13 schools and every single one is in Minnesota.  Thus traveling to see a road game is much more convenient and the rivalries make more sense.  Heck, in case you are a St. Olaf or Carleton College fan, if you want to see them play an away game you have a 5 minute drive since both teams are in Northfield.

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I’m just going to start “publishing” the posts that I transfered over from my old blog.  So the RSS feed will be screwed up for a while, sorry to anyone who’s reading this blog that way.

On the road in this morning one of the guys on the Zack&Jack show was talking about the Red Sox and how bad they’ve been in September.  He said something to the extent about how “we love to see other fans misery”.   Seems silly to me if people are miserable because their team isn’t doing good.

The Power Trip last Friday came up with their Top 10 Metallica songs.  The four voted on their favorites and then put them together to get the list (they’re doing the same with AC/DC this Friday).  While I think Top10 lists are too overdone (extremely overdone thanks to the internet), I still get sucked in, especially when it’s something I’m interested in.  On the Power Trips list Metallica’s The Black Album is heavily on the list, making up 5 of the 10 songs, which apparently people who would count themselves as huge Metallica fans would roll their eyes over.  My top ones are also heavily The Black Album songs – although I don’t count myself as a Heavy Metal fan, I’m not sure – other than Metallica – if there’s a band I like much.  So for what it’s worth here they are (links are to the songs on Youtube):

  1. King Nothing – Load album
  2. Wherever I May Roam – The Black Album
  3. One – And Justice For All
  4. Enter Sandman – The Black Album
  5. The God that Failed – The Black Album
  6. Of Wolf and Man – The Black Album
  7. Hero of the Day – Load
  8. Don’t Tread on Me – The Black Album
  9. And Justice for All – And Justice for All
  10. Seek and Destroy – Kill ‘Em All

I didn’t include it on the list since it’s a remake, but Metallica’s cover of Bob Seger’s Turn the Page is wonderful.

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Had a wonderful weekend.  Saturday Amy, Kaelyn, and myself went to the Minnesota Rennaisance Festival, Kaelyn’s first time there.  Amy’s Mom and Dad met us there.  It was wonderful weather for it;  cool when the sun wasn’t out, but very warm when it was.  Kaelyn enjoyed going on the butterfly ride and riding the horses.  Sunday we did the Crop Walk for hunger.  It finished in the downtown (Northfield) area by the waterfall, at the fountain.

Listening to the radio on the ride into work I found out that Vikings are now 0-3.  The radio guys were very upset over this.  One of the guys was saying something to the extent about why watch anymore?  I guess I don’t understand that mentality.  If you are “fan”, wouldn’t you want to watch every single game, reglardless of how well the team is?  If you’re really a fan of the sport, shouldn’t the results not matter that much?  Then again I’ve never understood booing your own team either.

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On my ride to and from work I’ll listen to sports-talk radio off and on.  Around 90% of the sports talk radio hosts I find to be annoying.  That certainly applies to KFAN.  Just recently their show “The Power Trip” starts at 5:30 AM, so they’re on my way to work and I find them almost completely annoying, but yes I’m still listening (cringing) just in case there’s something I’m interested in.  I also find “The Common Man” and Paul Allen incredibly annoying. 

The one thing that keeps me coming back is Dan Barreiro.  Compared to the 90% I find annoying, it’s very rare that I find him annoying.  Plus, I find myself agreeing with him on most issues.  It could be that I find the typical fanatic expectations regarding team performance (“they must make the playoffs”, “anything less than getting to the superbowl is a failure”), coaching positions (“they must fire him”), officiating performance (“worst call ever”, “how was that call missed”) and other such things.

Apparently the NCHC will be adding St. Cloud State and Western Michigan.  I’m still not sure about the whole NCHC in general, but adding St. Cloud State seems to be a very good move.  SCSU has history of doing well (not necessarily in the NCAAs, but that’s starting to turn around) and they are also getting their building renovated.  I don’t follow the CCHA, but it seems to me Western Michigan doesn’t have SCSU’s history of doing well (in the NCAAs only 4 times since 1975), so I’m not sure what to think of them from a NCHC benefit perspective.  For myself I like SCSU and although there are certainly other WCHA-CCHA teams I would sub for Western Michigan (Bemidji is tops) I have nothing against the Broncos.  As it stands right now there’s no NCHC team who I would be rooting against (unlike the WCHA when I’m always rooting against UMTC) but if Notre Dame ends up in the NCHC that will change that.

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