Sports, and Why Guys Like Them

Football. Baseball. Hockey. Basketball. Tennis. Soccer. Nascar. What do these sports have in common? There must be a winner. Of all the rules in all of sports (and let’s face it, in some sports there are way too many rules (yes I’m talking to you NFL)), requiring a winner is the single most attractive thing about sports. If you then connect this all-important rule to the male mind, it’s very easy to see why guys like sports. Because in a guy’s mind, there is order. There is a #1. There is a #2. There is a #3 and so on.Open up the passion for sports in a more broad fashion, and you’ll discover it’s more about competing than it is about the actual sport, though. My favorites to play are football and basketball. My favorite to watch is football. But my ultra favorite thing to do? Win. It can be pick-up basketball at the Y, it can be a 5K race or a race up the stairs. It can also be something as absurd as the Nashville Fantasy Bachelor League. Guys want to be #1. And when we can’t be, we cheer for a team we think can.

Lance Armstrong, Tour De France winner

A friend of mine is a self-proclaimed sports agnostic. He’s not against athletics, he’s not against athletes. But he is against those fanatics. If you’re interested, his thoughts on the subject are posted here. What I submit to him is the idea that sports should be viewed on a broader scale (like I mentioned, it’s more about competing).If my friend were to watch a football game the way he writes blogs, I think he may begin to understand. Yes, my friend is a writer. And before you say, “Well, no wonder the flower child doesn’t like sports! He’s one of those weirdo creative types,” you should know that he is an Alabama Crimson Tide fan as well (Now you have my permission to say it). His allegiance to Alabama is more for the sake of picking a side (Alabama or Auburn) than it is about actually liking the team, but hey, at least he’s aware that there are sides in that fight.When my friend writes, he spends time and energy making the delivery and presentation a top notch product. Why? It’s not so the reader will like it. It’s so the reader will like it more than anything else they read. When the Seattle Seahawks take the field against the New Orleans Saints they want to run the right plays and score points, but not just to play well. They want to win the game and be the best in the league. My friend writing to be the best and the Seahawks playing to be the best are the same thing.

Why guys likes sports can be summed up in four points.
Challenge. It’s exciting to push skills to the limit, and watch other people do the same.
Competition. An exciting way to measure talents, passions and skills.
Hitting. Guys like to hit things, or watch people hit things.
Hierarchy. There must be a #1. This idea is built into the male DNA. If you’re a guy, you are born with the desire to be king of the mountain, and have songs written about your halls. 

Routine

In the summer of 2000, I worked at Kanakuk Kamps in Lampe, Missouri. In fact, I worked there for that summer and the next two. One of my favorite parts of the camp was the kitchen. Talk about good food, the cooks there were good at what they did. However, on days I wasn’t in the mood for “Frito Love,” there was peanut butter and jelly. Not secretly my favorite sandwich of all time. One day, as I sat down with a couple of sandwiches in my normal seat at the middle table, the director of the camp said to me, “creature of habit.” He was referencing how I chose to sit in the same spot pretty much every single meal. He was right on the money. I guess I never realized how routined I was until he said it. And routines are a good thing. They provide stability, normalcy, a way to measure growth and progress, and as was my case at the camp, safety and comfort. I began working at this camp without knowing anyone. It was far away from my family, and all of my friends. So having my place to sit and eat meals became familiar. And I can’t think of anything more important for a person who feels out of place than familiarity.

Fast forward to 2009, and I was still that same creature of habit. Between balancing work, friends, and whatever else came up, I developed a routine that worked. I started my job at nine, worked out at the YMCA during lunch, and went home at six. Then in December I got a puppy. Hello new routine.

If I could quickly offer some advice, when you’re considering puppy adoption, do it! And also, do it in the spring or late summer. Training a dog in the winter is cold, exhausting, and cold. I learned the hard way that I was slower at putting on warm clothes at 4 A.M. than she was at making yellow puddles. So adopt a dog, then buy some carpet cleaner. My dog’s “accidents” became less and less frequent, however, when I learned the most important ingredient in training, routine. Through establishing a routine, I got better (and more) sleep, and she learned to hold it till she was outside. Routines are a good thing.

We are all creatures of habit and even though we may stray a bit on day to day activities, our weeks, months, and years will highlight an overall routine. And that’s a good thing. It means you are stable. Just remember, there’s a fine line between routine and rut. So have enough of a routine to feel safe, but every so often shock the system by sitting in a different spot.