Introducing a new whenever-the-hell-I-feel-like-it feature in this blog! I call it "Ben Doesn't Know Anything About Sports." I felt that it was necessary to start a feature like this largely because clearly my massive reader base has been clamoring for one thing - and that thing is important and relevant commentary on people running around after balls, looking to score. (And with none of the immature follow-ups to a statement like that most other bloggers might resort to for a cheap laugh. This place has never been anything but a class act, after all.)
"But Ben," you're asking yourself, "why write this feature if you don't know anything about sports?" For starters, don't be so familiar. Secondly, I'm a very generous and giving person - it's just my nature. I feel that after years of painful experiences with sports - from being scrutinized for "throwing like a girl" (That's misogyny, by the way!) to being smashed in the head by a soccer ball and that movie Space Jam (Just the fact that it exists is an affront to everybody.) - it's important to return the favor to sports lovers. For each time you gave me a snide look because I was a nerd (And not a high school athlete and thus an inferred date rapist by default like yourself.), for each time you expected me to see your hackneyed Hollywood "true stories" about delinquents reformed through football, for each time you suggested I use my own legs to propel myself instead of levitating with my mind - this feature is for you.
Thus, we reach the meat of this first feature - the fall season. Everybody loves watching sports in the fall, hunched around their 1930s style scanning disc TVs. Except for perhaps the terrorists - apparently they're readers, and too good for our all-American television addiction. Our lives just wouldn't be complete without the regular crack of a baseball bat as old Ty Cobb scored a touchdown, or eagle, or whatever it is you pull off in baseball where you might not lose the game. Of course, here and there you'll find the odd individual, like myself, who never strapped on the oversized helmet of sports-addiction, the appeal of which continues to elude us. But if you play your cards right, you'll learn to blend into modern society as though it didn't matter that you skipped watching the big game because you had better things to do - like catching up with friends, reading a book, or watching paint dry, all of the above are more enriching than the average bout of televised sportification, after all.
Now, this would be a more stressful time of year for those of us less inclined to athletics if we actually cared. But indifference is a virus that threatens to destroy society as we know it unless something is done. It's not just your obligation, but your solemn duty to be a pain in the ass to the sports-lovers during their most prized of seasons. You weren't raised to tolerate their fondness for kinetic motion when their misery could be your pleasure! Don't give me any lip, that's the American way!
Now, finding joy in wrecking sports fans' days may seem like a daunting task - especially to those of you who like to think of themselves as "good" people (This will soon change. Empathy is a communist sentiment! You're not one of the reds, are you?) - but once you get the hang of these simple, little, every day behavior patterns, it'll be the easiest thing since passing a sobriety test! (If you pass it the right way, anyway - punching the cop and running away. They can't catch you if you believe they can't.)
1) Reference Canadian athletics whenever the topic comes up in the break room, coffee nook, or whatever booby-trapped little corner employees actually think they've escaped from big brother into when at work. The Toronto Maple Leafs are a preferable reference, as in most of America, they're considered more mythical than anything else. (Canadians, playing hockey! Yeah, right. Next, you'll be telling me Soccer's not its real name!) If you run into an individual who is well-versed in all things Canada, you should run away immediately, as if you're caught in their gaze, you'll be turned to stone immediately. If they're not a Canadian themselves, they're probably a sleeper cell, and you should report them to Homeland Security. (Or at least the writers of 24. Word is they've just about run out of Republican wet dreams to write about.)
2) Should someone try to drag you into a conversation about sports, there's a simple statement that, when made defiantly, can break up any and all athletic conversations within a matter of seconds. Whether they want to talk about skeet shooting, curling, or turbo-ice skating, cut them off with a single demand: "Who caught the Snitch!?" If the subject is a sport, there must be a Snitch, and you must know who caught it. (Warning: This method may not work on Harry Potter fans. In fact, to many fans of the boy wizard and his adventures, this is essentially a mating call. Carry a Klingon dictionary with you at all times to ward them off if need be.) This sends a single clear, concise message - that you don't know what they're talking about, and if you don't understand or care about these things, neither should anybody else. It's up to you to make it your personal lifetime goal to ruin anything and everything athletics-related around you. (If they try to ignore you, get more aggressive. If they try to make you back off, be sure to carry a bat you can brandish at a moment's notice - always held at the wrong end, that way they know you're crazy. No one fucks with a crazy person.)
3) Video games. Sometimes you'll encounter people playing sports games - particularly one celebrated by cultists on the Pagan holiday "Maddenoliday" every August when their software of choice gets a roster update. Should any such a fool attempt to coerce you into joining them in a round of their 1980s Jack Nicklaus PC golf simulator, demand to know if what they are playing is a game called "Battletoads." No matter what, be insistent. Battletoads will wear down their willpower in a matter of minutes, dissolving them into a puddle of goo that you can trade for an arrowhead on the black market. A little known trade secret.
4) Should anyone invite you to watch an actual athletic event with them, decline fervently. Should they press the issue, fake a seizure - bellowing outdated profanity as you do so only drives the point further home. If you're lucky, not only will they never invite you to anything sports-related, but they may, in fact, never so much as speak to you again. And once they've had that experience, they can't un-have it. The damage will have been done.
This is all you need to know for now, dear readers, as you fight the good fight in the crusade against others' simple pleasures that you may not share. I leave you with one last nugget of wisdom on this subject for the time being - should all the aforementioned methods be met with failure, begin wearing a full beard of bees at all times. It may drive away family, friends, and even lovers, but there is no method more effective in warding off physical-activity-mongers quite like a beard of bees. Those things have stingers, you know.