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I participate in sports inactively

My once-ritual participation in sports has mutated into a lazy infatuation with sports media.

It’s the dead of summer, and there is no better way to enjoy the weather than by going outside and playing a friendly sports game with some friends. Whether softball, ultimate Frisbee, football, tennis or Calvinball (my personal favorite); it’s just fun to be active under the sun.

Unfortunately, my full-time job has a weekly schedule opposite those of my friends, and in my free time, I like to take naps or hang out with my girlfriend (noted in order of preference).

When I’m not doing those things, there will usually be a baseball game on television I can watch until it’s time to do chores and errands and go to bed.

It helps that I’m a Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins fan, because that means I get to see at least one two-to-three hour televised game a day. These are my excuses for not being active anymore.

Sad, right?

It seems my once-ritual participation in outdoor sports has mutated into a lazy infatuation with sports media.

I’ve started watching ESPN religiously, browsing professional sports Web sites for the latest statistics, listening to sports radio and getting some sort of live update for every single Cubs game this season. (Go Cubs!)

The obvious irony in all this is that I will now watch people be active on television or listen to the announcers watching people be active instead of being active myself.

I wish it wasn’t so, but with four channels on basic cable completely devoted to sports, it’s just convenient to sit down in my air-conditioned living room and endure the hours of never-ending, highlights-only sports news that follow the games I watch.

Thankfully, I’m not the only one out there with this obsession. I’d say a good third of the population tries to keep up with local sports information, and half of those people are just like me.

Why did you just shudder? I meant those people get daily sports information just like me. Jerks.

Anyway, being sports savvy can be a necessary quality for avoiding awkward moments and dealing with the business world.

Just like with the weather, people can always turn to sports when there’s nothing to talk about. Plus, sports miscellanea really comes in handy when you feel like complaining or venting – your teams’ woes are like pillows to punch when you’re mad.

Sports also tend to divert one’s attention away from important things – life’s stresses, relationships, this column, etc. It’s good to have something like that once in a while.

Still, my recent forfeiture of physical fitness is a bigger problem than being unfamiliar with daily sports events.

I’d prefer to be active in both realms, but I guess my schedule can only accommodate for the easy, lethargic side of sports.

And if you think I have no excuse for being inactive, I beg to differ. It’s the Cubs’ fault – their relief pitching has been terrible this year!

Mat Koehler welcomes comments at [email protected].

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