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Why I hate sports

Why I hate sports by Anne Erickson, News Editor

I hate sports. The word "jock" makes my stomach churn, and the thought of actually watching a football game with a group of people who care about the outcome gives me chills. Don't yell at me; if you had been traumatized the way I have, you'd hate sports, too.

In elementary school, they made us play battle ball. For those unfamiliar with battle ball, the goal is to hit other children smaller than you with a painfully overinflated rubber ball. If you're hit, you're out, and you can't come in until someone on your team catches a ball that someone on the opposite team has thrown.

Well, boys liked to hit me in the head. Maybe it was because they enjoyed seeing my glasses horribly bent as blood poured from my nose, I don't know. I just know that it wasn't fun, and the sound of my classmates laughing at me caused more nightmares than I care to think about.

In seventh grade, I wanted to be on the girls' basketball team. I got up at 5:45 a.m. and went to the 6:45 a.m. practices. I wasn't in very good shape, but only a few people could say otherwise. Our coach/geography teacher was Mr. Streiler, and he was notorious for making the track team run until at least five people vomited. He wasn't any nicer to a group of seventh grade girls. He made us run for the entire ninety-minute practice. If we stopped to drink water or catch our breath, even on the first day, he screamed at us until the veins in his neck and forehead exploded and his voice went hoarse. After two weeks of insults, both in practice and in geography class, I finally decided to quit. Mr. Streiler liked me much better after that, but he didn't last much longer as a coach.

By the time I'd reached high school, I had given up on all sports except high school boys' basketball. I was a statistician and went along on all the trips, writing down who shot from where, calculating shooting averages and keeping track of turnovers and assists. I was a very good statistician. After every game, I'd try to remember to tell the team who was the high scorer and who had made an excellent steal. They didn't like me, though.

After a particularly nasty loss, on the bus one of the starters accused us of screwing up his stats. I headed toward where he was standing in the aisle and tried to defend my fellow statisticians and myself. He kept spewing profanity at me, and I kept trying to shut him up. I reached my hand out and pressed, ever so gently, on his windpipe, causing him to pause and choke. I don't know why I did that. It was a half-second incident, and another half-second later, he grabbed my hair, threw me face-down on the muddy aisle, and stepped on my back. He ground my now-bleeding nose into the aisle. After a few moments of struggle, he allowed me to stumble to my feet and back to my seat. I gave up. I felt like I was on the battle ball court again, bloody nose, laughter and all.

By the time I got to SU, I'd heard enough about the Bison vs. the Sioux to last a lifetime. I haven't gone to a single sports event since I got here. If I hadn't been working at The Spectrum at the time, I would have been blissfully unaware that the Nickel had been stolen, and I would have been content with that.

I hate sports. I watched last year's Super Bowl for the commercials; I watched the World Cup last summer and grew to hate Ronaldo; I even watched part of this year's Snow Bowl. But I still hate sports.