Strangely Compelling…

I’m not much of a sports fan, I’ll admit.  I don’t care much for football, baseball, or basketball.  I’ll watch a game occasionally (like the Super Bowl), but really don’t keep up with players and stats and stuff.

I played soccer as a kid, but even the World Cup this summer didn’t hold much interest for me.  I think I only watched one game.

Sometimes I wish I liked sports more.  This wonton disinterest singles me out as the oddball in groups of men.  I become strangely silent when the discussion moves to the latest amazing touchdown pass or how the running back missed a golden opportunity to convert for 2 in the last quarter.  (Did that make any sense?  I just made that up, and don’t know exactly what I said.)

However, recently I have found Auto Racing (Indy car and NASCAR) strangely compelling.  I’ve found myself reading about the races in the Sports page. (I never read the sports pages.) I’ve started looking forward to watching the next race, and wondering if Jimmy Johnson will be able to keep on top of the Nextel Cup point standings.

It all started when our oldest son asked to watch an auto race. It was around Memorial Day, so I recorded the Indy 500 for him.  We watched it about a month later on a Sunday afternoon. I thought, Cars going around a track 500 times.—Yawn.  (Actually it’s 500 miles, which is 200 laps.)

But I was wrong. It was exciting. The drivers trying to time their pit stops, the cautions and the final few laps when we thought the rookie, Marco Andretti was going to win the race.  I wanted to watch more.

And then we went to see the movie Cars as a family.  It was thoroughly enjoyable and I found myself wanting to watch a NASCAR race to find out what the hype was all about.

We watched a race at Martinsville, then one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, then a road race at Watkins Glen.  My boys started cheering for different drivers and reading books about NASCAR.  I’m finding that I’m looking forward to the next race.

This is strange for me–I’m not used to being excited about sports, and now my wife has started calling me a Redneck.

I guess if the shoe fits…


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