By Rob Ficiur
After I watched “my team” blow a third period lead and lose the hockey game in overtime – my cheerful mood darkened. What good was cheering if my team did not win? In protest – and perhaps to stop my mood swings that followed – I decide to quit watching sports of all kinds … for a week. I have done this many times before. All of these sports-free weeks happen to be when I have been on holiday and too busy to worry about whether a team wins or loses.
Could I go an entire week without checking the sports scores on the internet? To me checking twitter means finding out how my teams are doing. Are there other channels on the television besides the sports channels? This might be tougher than I thought it would be.
In preparation for my sports free hiatus I had to make some preparations before I went cold turkey. I went on twitter and un-followed 90% of the people I follow. I went on the internet and got the latest update on team injuries and news. I can’t very well leave my people for an entire week without first making sure all is well.
A sports free week is harder to do than it sounds. On CBC television I saw my team had won the night before. Accidentally I heard an update on the radio before I turned it off. A couple of hockey fans I ran into gave me the updates on who won the night before. In the six days I went without sports, I knew how well my two hockey teams and one basketball team did without checking the sports in any way. Who knew you could find out the scores investing hours to get every detail. Yes… I do remember I when I was in high school we did not have internet or twitter and being up to date meant knowing the latest scores.
On Day #3 I was on my computer and I had a few minutes to “invest” (or kill). What websites did I “need to check?” With great self-control I did not go to any sports sites. I stared at the screen and wondered “What other kinds of site might there be on the internet besides sports?” It was then I realized that I might be slightly out of balance in the way I invest my leisure time.
During the sports free week I watched the news more than I had in months. It sounds noble to say that a person needs to be well informed about current events. After six days of quadrupling my news watching, I was ready to leave the gloom and doom of the news and go back to my make believe world of sports.
When Saturday morning came my sports boycott was over! What happened while I was not looking? It took me less than 30 minutes to catch right up with all of my teams in hockey, baseball and basketball? Six days of no sports updates took only 30 minutes to bring me up to date? In an average day I might spend 30 minutes (or more) keeping up to date. I realized that I don’t need the in-depth pre-game report. I don’t have to read every post game summary for my team to win (or lose).
The following paragraph summarizes what I missed in my six days. Calgary rookie goalie Joni Ortio is on a winning streak. The Toronto Maple Leafs fell a five points out of a playoff spot. (They were in a playoff spot when I quit sports). The Toronto Raptors and LA Kings continued their so-so play of the last month. Finally, the Toronto Blue Jays did not sign any new players while I was away. Simply put – not much changed.
I reloaded my twitter account. Now I am following twice as many sports “experts” as I was before my break. After following some of these new people during my first week back in the sports world, I think I will un-follow several of them. I don’t need every detail and every thought of these experts.
Saturday night I watched my hockey team go to a shoot out…and lose! “What! You can do better than that! Didn’t you know I was on a sports-strike last week?” I growled at the team (through the television). “I don’t have time to waste watching you lose!” This was like déjà vu – a week earlier, when I was venting like this, I went on a sports sabbatical.
A sports free week was easier than watching my team(s) lose games they should have won. If my teams keep losing, sports free weeks might become the norm instead of a painful experiment.