“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”- Siddhartha Gautama
I don’t like football. Quarterbacks, linebackers, defense, pigskin, flags, fouls, touchdowns– none of these things mean anything to me. Was there a class I missed in elementary school where boys were taught to like sports? Were sportsmanship, athletic appreciation, and competitive skills issued in a series of lectures I missed? In first grade, I would play four-square on outside days, and checkers on inside days. In third grade I walked around the soccer fields with a stick and pretended to announce the game while my peers kicked the ball around me. Never in my life have sports of any kind elicited an excited response in me. No connection was ever made.
Forever in elementary, middle, and high school my paradigm was always split in two. There was me, and there were the jocks. The jocks were idiots. They were dumb, large, barbaric, idiotic, and strong. The jocks were my tormentors. My paradigm held no room for the possibility of good ever being in jock form. They did sports; therefore sports were evil. Sports were a way for gym classes and peers alike to hurt me. To put me on a field and show my embarrassing lack of skill.
When football is on TV I leave the room. I can’t stand the yelling guys do. They aren’t playing in this foolish game. Why the hell are they screaming at a TV? This post was prompted by the incredibly short series of events that happened during the BYU vs. U of U game.
The game began with a quick score (goal?) by the red team. A quick google search proved the red team to be the Utes. Asking the guys watching would have been supremely embarrassing… When they scored, both guys started yelling. Blankets were tossed, explicit terms were yelled though fuming mouths. Eyes were full of vengeance. It seemed some sort of real injustice had just been done. I sat watching the reactions of my friends with astonishment. When they yelled my chest constricted. My eyes teared up in the corners. My throat felt heavy. I felt no connection to them. I felt no connection to the game. I felt immensely alone.
It all happened in 3 seconds time. I immediately averted my eyes to hide what tears may have formed. I can’t help but feel burdened, heavy. Two people who were my friends immediately turned into visions of people I hate. The immense passion they demonstrated was something that I had no way to relate to. This angered me. Deep down I felt a hot anger and disgust seeping though me. So many emotions encasing me at one time was uncomfortable, but I discerned one thing through the red haze.
I hated sports. Sports separated me from my friends and a fraternity of association and camaraderie. Sports raised the walls that kept me bound from making common connections. Sports intensify the gulf of separation I already feel because of my Same Gender Attractions. It’s not fair that something like this should be able to get an emotional rise out of me!
I see no remedy. Nothing they can teach you in Sunday School will displace the pleading prayers to relate. No scripture will bridge the gulf. Instead, I’ll endure from a disconnected distance.