During the past few days both the Super Bowl and the Olympics have come up in conversations at social gatherings or simply one-on-one over coffee. I try to explain that I don’t follow sports.
I have a perfect 44-year record of having never seen a Super Bowl. In fact, I’ve never seen a football game or any other sporting event on television. Oh sure, I’ve seen portions of televised athletic events playing on in-store TVs or when visiting relatives, but that’s it.
I just don’t pay attention. I don’t think I could name a football player. I might be able to name a baseball player or basketball player if I thought about it, but it would take some doing.I’m equally not interested in the Olympics. I never pay much attention.
I don’t have an athletic bone in my body. If I were in the Olympics, my event would probably be the 100-yard mosey. I think it’s my father’s fault.
I never observed him paying any attention to sports on either radio or television. In fact, I remember when I was about 10 years old an uncle from Boston was visiting us in California. He tried desperately to listen to a baseball game in which his Boston team was playing and couldn’t get it. He was visibly upset that we lived where the radio signal was so poor you couldn’t even get a baseball game or the station just didn’t carry it.
I remember in elementary school when we’d choose up sides for baseball at recess and I’d be the only one left standing there. Neither side wanted me. The teacher would force one side or the other to “take me.” He made sure I didn’t plague the same team two days in a row.
They usually put me in the outfield and I repeatedly offered up a prayer that no fly ball or grounder come my way. That’s because I knew (and so did my teammates) that I’d never catch or stop it. And if by accident the ball just hit me or fell into my glove, I couldn’t throw it far enough to do any good anyway.
Ironically, one of my schoolmates at Roosevelt Elementary in Kingsburg was Olympic star Rafer Johnson, who did have numerous athletic bones in his body. Rafer and I were able to catch up on old times when he visited Atascadero several years ago along with several other decathletes.
I often wear a blue baseball cap with “LA” on it in large letters. People come up to me during baseball season and say something like, “How about those Dodgers. What a game last night,” and I have to tell them I’m not a fan, those just happen to be my initials.
Lon Allan has lived in Atascadero for nearly four decades. His column appears here every week. He can be reached at 466-8529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.