When I speak with my son by phone, we usually spend a few minutes talking about sports. We may discuss the fortunes of the pro teams in Detroit and Pittsburgh, but mostly we talk about soccer. Both of his kids play almost year-round, so we talk about their play and then we move on to the Columbus Crew and, perhaps, the U.S. national team. It isn't long before I've said all I have to say about sports and heard all I want to hear. I'm ready to talk about something else.
Other guys seem to be able to talk about sports endlessly. When I was still working for a newspaper, some of my colleagues would talk about sports from the beginning of their shift to the end. Sometimes these conversations seemed to cover just one topic, such as the question of whether Lebron James would leave the Cleveland Cavs to try to win a championship elsewhere. This conversation lasted for several days. After James bolted for Miami, the conversation continued for a few more. I could never figure out how these guys could talk all the time and still write or edit their stories. I had trouble enough getting my work done while trying to ignore their discussion.
I have subscribed to Sports Illustrated for years. After I check out the newspaper's front page, I usually turn first to the sports section every day. But although I like sports, I have never wanted sports to consume my life. When I was just beginning my journalism career, the sports editor asked me if I would be willing to cover an occasional high school football or basketball game on Friday nights. I did it for a couple of years and enjoyed it. I must have done OK because the sports editor asked if I wanted to transfer over to the sports department. I turned him down without having to even think about it. Sports could be fun, but that's not how I wanted to earn my living. A couple of years later when I was a city hall reporter I may have briefly questioned my decision. Any high school football game is more interesting than almost any meeting of a zoning commission.
I would much rather watch a game than talk about it afterward. Can there really be so much to say?
How about them Tigers!
There, that just about covers it. Now let's talk about something important.