What To Do When You Don’t Give A Fuck About Local Sports » VSB

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What To Do When You Don’t Give A Fuck About Local Sports

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My college sweetheart grew up in Cambridge, Mass., walking distance from the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park.

Like many of her ilk, she grew up a die-hard Red Sox fan; when they lost the pennant to the New York Yankees in 2003, she flatly rejected me from entering her dorm room to witness her crying. But we were together in Chicago the following year when the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years.

During the deciding game’s final play, I watched her reaction instead of the television screen. I’ll never forget her yelp of joy or the elation in her face, and it was cool to witness the Curse of the Bambino become lifted alongside someone who genuinely gave a fuck.

But I didn’t really…not about the team itself, or the win.

Twelve years later, I’m in a similar spot: last night, the Chicago Cubs won its first World Series in 108 years following an appropriately dramatic Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians, who have also gone many years without a World Series win. Had the Cubs lost, I would be rubbing elbows with the saltiest population of Chicagoans since after the Great Chicago Fire 145 years ago.

Instead, folks around these parts are at peak White Bob from Marketing on this foggy Thursday morning. Fireworks, gunshots and people leaning on their car horns kept me awake at 3:35 this morning, and I’m guessing human resources departments throughout the city are logging a record number of “sick” days. I’ve heard Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and the “Go Cubs Go!” song numerous times already this morning, and I’ve only been awake for an hour and a half.

As objectively good as the extra-innings game was (Like everyone else who stayed up to watch it and had to be up this morning, I’m on the struggle bus to stay awake) and as cool as it is to see a city I love basking in celebration, I still don’t actually give a fuck. About any of it. I’m generally apathetic about sports as it is – I only get out of bed for Michigan Football, and the most heart-rending sports experience of my life came during last season’s last-second defeat at the hands of Michigan State – but I lack whatever inner mechanics make a grown-ass man drop tears at the activity of a bunch of strangers on a field, court or rink.

As a native of one die-hard sports city who moved to another one, I respect on some level the multitude of fucks the locals give about their teams. Problem is, unless I’m rocking one of my Detroit T-shirts, random folks love to start conversations with me that kick off with something akin to, “How ‘bout them Cubs/Sox/Bears/Blackhawks/Bulls?” And I have to decide in the moment whether I even care enough to engage.

I’m most conscious of this fucks divide when I’m at the barbershop and it’s full of dudes debating about Chicago sports. Unfortunately, I have a barber who’s ridiculously opinionated and talks with his goddamn hands, which means my cut will take at least 10 to 15 minutes longer during these debates; because I can’t contribute, all I can do is take those forced “breaks” to quietly peruse Instagram to see what new “model” is breaking her dad’s heart at the moment.

At this point, I’m old hat at this no-sports-fucks-given thing. So if you’re like me, here are a few quick tips you can employ to either pretend like you give the fucks about sports that you don’t or to just avoid the discussion altogether:

  1. Avoid direct interactions with overzealous white fans: A day without at least one interaction with an old white dude is like a day without water – somewhat unavoidable. So if there’s a significant game or series happening and you see a dude approaching you who looks like Newt Gingrich draped from graying head to jaundiced toes in his favorite team’s gear, do that thing you do when a kid approaches you in the grocery store parking lot looking for money for his “school football team” (read: new Js): start a fake, fake-deep conversation with your moms on the phone and pretend like you don’t see him. Fix your eyes to look like you are ready to cry so he’ll feel even less inclined to talk to you about a game or team you couldn’t give a scant fuck about.
  1. Wear neutral colors: Many of my friends who work office jobs have informed me that their business casual dress code has been put on hold this week to allow for Cubs gear. I know you love wearing jeans to the gig, but don’t do it – the last thing you need on a Tuesday morning is to get caught up at the Keurig station with Tristan in Accounts Payable so he can bitch at you about how butthurt he is that his dear team is being ignored amid all the hoopla. Rock your normal Kohl’s gear and Stacy Adams kicks…you’re more likely to be left alone, but no promises.
  1. Learn about a player from every major team: If you see a bunch of people rocking jerseys with the same names in your adoptive city, do yourself a favor and learn a bit about those players. What are their stats? What injuries are nagging them? What’s the name of the hooker they banged in the video that somehow made it to TMZ? That way, if you do wind up stuck in a conversation with discount Newt Gingrich, you can wing it: “Sooo, what about so-and-so’s interior occipital lumbar joint region…think it’s gonna be a problem for today’s game?” This will provoke a discussion – just nod your head, say “uh-huh” every time his jowls stop moving for a second and keep it moving. 
  1. Stay in the crib: When Barack Obama won his first election in 2008, I rode my bike some 10 miles at 10:30 p.m. to be in Grant Park where he delivered his acceptance speech. That was magical. When the win came through last night, I holed myself up at my place and posted up at the window with the rifle like Malcolm. There were fireworks, gunshots, honking horns, drunkenness and a general magnitude of fuckery and bucknuttiness heretofore unseen in Chicago sports, and everyone’s just getting started. I’m treating the next couple days like Y2K – loading up on bottled water, Malt Duck, Astroglide, Q-Tips and jars of loose pomegranate seeds. As long as my Comcast payment clears, I’ll be good for a few days until the madness subsides.
Dustin Seibert

Dustin J. Seibert lifts heavy weights and plays all his video games on hard mode to find peace. He has a better ear for hip-hop than anyone else you know. He writes like the English language is going outta style because the steaks in his freezer are dependent on it.

  • Kylroy

    Just north of you, and I’ve stopped following Green Bay football beyond checking the scores the next day. Best decision of my life.

    • Val

      “Just north of you…”

      I was in Chicago a few years ago in winter. The cold was mind numbing. So to be north of Chicago must be a bone-chilling challenge to the senses to say the least.

      • Kylroy

        Wisconsinite my whole life, so I’m used to it. My dad even paid for tickets to a GB playoff game for me in 2004, so I have the life experience of being in Lambeau, in January, watching a game. Glad to have that life experience, even gladder to never do it again.

        • Val

          Do you own a share of the team?

          • Kylroy

            Heh, no. The only people who have meaningful shares of the team bought them in the initial ’50s fire sale. The “shares” they’ve sold since are both miniscule portions of the team and non-voting to boot; basically a poster with “Green Bay Packer Shares” printed on it.

            Which is fine, folks buy posters all the time, and GB’s ownership weirdness allows them to say it’s stock. But I’m not a big poster buyer.

  • “…When the win came through last night, I holed myself up at my place and posted up at the window with the rifle like Malcolm. There were fireworks, gunshots, honking horns, drunkenness and a general magnitude of fu*kery and bucknuttiness heretofore unseen…”

    Exactly.
    I had a “bro” tell me last night he wasn’t doing another effing thing, he wasn’t spending a once in a lifetime monent on a effing job, doing effing work, and he’s effing leaving to watch it in effing TV.

    Bros love effing.
    I gave him today off too.
    We live in Philly bidge.

    • Kylroy

      Is he a “bro” in the sense that you’re close to him, or that he’s the kind of douche who uses the word “bro” as an interjection?

      • Ryan Lochte kinda “bro”.
        If I was his mgr I wouldve banged him.

        • Kylroy

          I just learned a new word for “dismiss from employment”.

          I hope.

          • I’ll find out, because HIS mgr asked me to keep a eye on him, and make sure he worked a certain project. When I told him his instructions, that’s when he flipped.

          • CrankUpThe_AC

            lmao

  • -h.h.h.-

    i guess for Cubs fans, this is their ‘moment’…salute.

  • RaeNBow

    This is the best damm article ever. I cannot stress the importance of #4 though. I listen to the Chicago Police Scanner during nights like that because, #funny. and let me tell you… Them YT folks were RIOTING!!!! Wrigley Field was breached. naked man was standing on the mound. Some idiot climbed a light pole. then promptly fell off said light pole. I think the Taco Bell in Wrigley might’ve been the real MVP of the night. rest in pieces to the news camera truck they destroyed. who won thought? The transsexual prostitutes that the police sergeant decided were to be left alone for the night because they were too tied up with the mob control.

    My particular west side enclave was overflowing with more gunshots than fireworks. prime stay your a** in the house time.
    Oh, and I’m wearing coral pants and a grey shirt at work because. I’m not really a fan. I did however take the opportunity to be late this morning.

    • You did the same thing I did.
      Soon as the pitch cane off, I logged into Chiraq.

  • La_Dee_Da

    Imagine if American’s collectively shown such excitement, passion and support for social matters as well as our entertainment.
    Such as clean water in Flint and helping the Natives at Standing Rock.
    Our priorities are jacked sometimes. Not to say we can’t show interest in more than one thing… but…

    • Shoot, last time the Phillies won, they set fires and looted, so meh.

      • La_Dee_Da

        That’s something else I don’t understand….
        A riot is a riot is a riot
        Unless our favorite sports team wins…
        Then it’s a celebration

  • Val

    My cynicism keeps me from getting emotionally involved with sports teams. I mean, sports are a business designed to get you so emotionally involved that you won’t notice how much money you’re spending on gear and tickets, right? Nope, that’s not me. Maybe I’d feel differently if there was more and real minority ownership in pro sports.

    Also, major college sports are all about taking advantage of the athletes. Everybody gets paid except the people everyone showed up to see? I can’t really sit back and enjoy watching athletes be exploited.

    Anyway, don’t get me wrong. I’ll cheer “my teams” for fun and talk ish with the best of them. But I’m not crying over the NY football Giants or the Warriors or the Wings losing games or championships.

    Exception to this rule is track and field. I get emotionally involved when it comes to my favorite track athletes and the sport in general at all levels.

    I would say congratulations to Cubs fans but the way you all treated that Bartman guy was lame and unforgivable.

    • “Exception to this rule is track and field. I get emotionally involved when it comes to my favorite track athletes and the sport in general at all levels.”

      Ahhhh yes. Every fan no matter their claims of being even-keeled has that one thing that takes them there.

    • Bartman?

    • BASEBALL IS THE GREATEST SPORT OF ALL TIME

    • miss t-lee

      “I would say congratulations to Cubs fans but the way you all treated that Bartman guy was lame and unforgivable.”

      Seriously though.
      I hope homie can walk around with his head held high now.

      • Kylroy

        Reminds me of the post-Red Sox championship check-in with Bill Buckner.

        • miss t-lee

          I’m not familiar.

          • Kylroy

            Mostly that Boston stopped collectively hating him for fumbling an easy grounder in Game 6 of the World Series.

            • miss t-lee

              Ahhhhh. I guess a ring makes folks forget about those type things…lol

      • Amen

        They need to give the dude a ring

    • AOM

      I was a Cubs fan for years but was done with them after the Bartman incident. If a team is so weak that one fan can cause them to lose the entire series, throw a temper tantrum in the field, and then lay the blame on that fan rather than their own failures to produce, then that team is not worth my time. I couldn’t root for the Indians because Wahoo so I went to bed last night at 10 and slept through the celebrations.

  • When I meet men who aren’t interested in sports I feel like I found a unicorn in the wild. This level of investment in sports just was never a thing in my home or in my life. What I normally do is just straight up tell people who attempt to engage me: “I don’t watch sports…I don’t care about them”. With that being said, they know anything else they say regarding sports is about to be a SERIOUSLY one sided conversation.

    • cakes_and_pies

      The amount of emotional investment I see when some men talk about sports is a little weird to me. They’re like rabid Beiber and BeyHive fans. I’m talking about long winded posts about why someone else team sucks, personally attacking other people, and the relentless fandom looks exhausting.

    • NonyaB?

      Sounds like me. As I explain: While some watch the game, my contribution is to occasionally watch the players (esp. streamlined soccer bodies). ? Otherwise, I have zero interest and if there was a club featuring dudes not into sports, I’d visit all the time.

      • Dating men that are from the Carribean has helped me a lot in that regard. Since most of the sports they might be highly interested in aren’t big HERE, they tend not to be concerned. I love it.

    • My uncle doesn’t watch sports but his wife is a sports fanatic.

    • Gibbous

      I like to watch football, but I don’t have a team and don’t really know any players or stats anymore. (Learned on Joe Montana @SF and then UF when they were winning NCAA championships all over the place)

  • Janelle S

    Former Chicagoan (1994-2016) and I get this. I didn’t care about the Bulls when they were winning, and I definitely didn’t care about the Blackhawks, or that one season when the Bears made it to the Super Bowl.

    That said, last night, we were bummed to be celebrating the Cubs win while keeping the noise down because the neighbors in the new joint just don’t care.

  • DCFem

    Go Blue! The five minutes of non-Olympics sports that I’ve watched this year was the glorious end to the Michigan — Michigan State game last weekend. I probably would have left Chicago on Monday if I were you and would not return until Thanksgiving.

    • Dustin John Seibert

      Word.

  • I don’t display much emotion about sports when my teams take L’s but I do when they win. My temperament is shaped by pulling for Oakland for so long. I just refuse to ruin my day/week over something like that but man a good victory makes you feel good.

    • miss t-lee

      Ditto.

    • Kylroy

      Best possible way to do it. Damn straight I’m a bandwagon fan, I don’t need suffering from my light entertainment.

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