But sports are so central to so many people in so many cultures, that for the visitor, traveler, friend, or family member, learning to enjoy the game is required, at least to a certain extent. Here are a few ways to get into the game, for even the most committed non-sports-fan.
– Learn About the Game Itself. For people who can’t get caught up in the drama on the field, the trajectories of great sports dynasties, or the stories of players on the field, maybe it’s time to learn about the mechanics of the game itself. This is especially compelling for the more cerebrally minded, and games like Tennis, Soccer/Football, and Baseball were made for it. These games are intensely mathematical, and they employ all sorts of statistics that sports fans make use of to really dig into the complexities of the games. Tennis Statistics are particularly satisfying, even among people who don’t consider themselves superfans of the game itself. If you are statistically minded, let this guide you through the next game you have to watch with friends of family.
– Learn About the Drama Offscreen. Sometimes it’s the drama offscreen that gives a game its most interesting properties. If you are watching a game, start to ask your friends questions about the players you notice. Learn who the stars are, and the lesser players who help them do their very best. Learn about their career challenges, the highs and lows of their time in the professional classes. Learn about the challenges that preceded their professional careers, injuries, scandals, and personal stories. This can help humanize the competition, and give you interest that you otherwise would not have.
– Practice When No One Else is Around. If it’s important for you to enjoy a sport somewhat, because you have a significant other, friend, or family member who’s really into it, do some research on your own. Find out how the important team in your situation did the past few seasons. Understand trades and fan frustrations. Read internet forums where true fans get to express themselves. With just a couple hours of research, you’ll learn what makes a fan tick, and you’ll find yourself becoming a fan too. You may never be a true dyed in the wool fanatic, but you’ll have enough knowledge and interest to get you through the occasional Sunday afternoon game with the friends.
Not all of us are born sports fans. But most of us have friends that love sports, and sometimes we have to watch games with them. If this sounds like you, it can make the process more fun for everyone involved if you can find a way to be interested. If that doesn’t come naturally to you, try the above and get into the game.