Real life sports

We have a real good thread here for sports video games, which leads me to suspect that there might be some real-life sports enthusiasts on this forum. I‘d like to find out! So that’s what this thread is for.

In my younger days, I was an enthusiastic but ultimately pretty untalented sports player. Mostly pickup baseball and road hockey, and later basketball. These days, I'm an old rickety man with bad feet and ankles, so my sports-playing is pretty much behind me.

But I loved attending baseball games, pre-covid. Especially at the gorgeous Yokohama BayStars stadium, where the sight lines are stunning and the beer tastes amazing on a hot summer's night.


I'm also a close follower of the NBA. I love basketball because to me, watching the chemistry between the five players on the court is like listening to a group of jazz musicians improvising together. Change one player out for another, and you change the whole dynamic. And these days, NBA players change teams so often, so it's fascinating watching how various teams' attributes ebb and flow.

This season, I've also decided to follow the NHL for the first time in many, many years. The realignment of all the Canadian teams into one division, where they'll all exclusively play each other in an ultimate hockey death match, is an intriguing proposition. Long ago, I wrote the sport off entirely for being too chaotic, and not rewarding the most skilled players enough. But I'm ready to embrace that chaos, and give it another look. I should probably mention that I grew up in and around Toronto, and my dad has been a diehard Maple Leafs fan his entire life. And as far as that goes, well... if you know, you know.

Individual sports evolve and change over time, with changes to gameplay and strategy trends. It's pretty cool!

And, following a professional sports league is more rewarding to me than watching any scripted drama, because it contains just as many storylines, but it's all "real" (kinda), and it's these people's actual jobs and lives involved. By the same token, however, the egos and ridiculous salaries make it all a bit exhausting at times.

I don't know. Anyone else around here like sports? Favourite teams, fun experiences you've had, athletes you have feelings about? There's lots to talk about, potentially!


@whatsarobot#14619 my dad has been a diehard Maple Leafs fan his entire life. And as far as that goes, well… if you know, you know.


@Gaagaagiins#14623 Owned.

Nah I‘m just bein a dick, I grew up in Thunder Bay and was one of those losers who thought sports were uncool for way too long, but I’m mostly just netrual to cool with sports now that I'm a well rounded adult.

I don't do it on purpose pretty much ever, but I do like watching hockey. Although, I kinda only like watching playoff hockey. The more chaotic the better and I love that feeling of a desperate scramble and maybe a fight or two that comes when the games have a lot of stakes. Unfortunately, my experience with watching hockey peaked early, I think. One of the few times I sat down to actually watch a playoff game just kind of randomly was Game 6 in the 2008 playoffs between the Dallas Stars and the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks needed the win to bring it to Game 7, and both goalies for both teams, the Sharks' Evgeni Nabokov and the Stars Marty Turco, were in top form. Over the course of the game I decided I was a Sharks fan (I even did a big mouth chomping movement with my hands, at the two other guys I was with). It went into OT and turned into an intense goaltender duel between Nabokov and Turco. And then it went into 2nd OT. And then 3rd. And then 4th!! Now that was some truly incredible hockey because the offense for the Stars was a bit stronger but Nabokov was incredible, and although Turco was looking like he was struggling he kept making save after save after save, he was keeping it all together. Sadly it was over in a flash as someone slipped in one behind Nabokov and my precious Sharks could not make it to Game 7. By 4th OT it had ended up as the 8th longest playoff game in NHL history (it's the ninth longest as of August of last year!) and unfortunately for me it is my yardstick for how exciting hockey can be.

Other than that I think I'd have to start talking about Real Life Sports Entertainment…

I quite enjoy watching soccer, mainly the English Premier League and our meagre A-League here in Australia.

I’ve always enjoyed Formula 1, even though I struggle to reconcile that enjoyment with my grand dislike of the environmental impact and financial waste of the sport! I like a lot of motorsport, and F1 is the pinnacle in my opinion.

I love watching cricket, and I’m even one of those people that can watch a full 5 day long game (called a "test match") that ends in a draw and still enjoy it. People outside of cricket playing nations seem to always say it is a weird sport, and I’m not sure why really. All sport is weird.

You've probably seen or heard of AFL, "Aussie Rules" football. I hate it!

@rejj#14628 haha, meagre is a good way to describe the a-league

don't listen to rejj about AFL, it rules

@Syzygy#14632 You may already know about it, but mbovosumo over on twitch has been streaming the Grand Sumo live.

@rejj#14628 F1 is great, but it does get harder and harder to like it each year, what with the environmental impact, the cozying up to fairly dreadful regimes (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia et al) and the brushing under the carpet of actual sexual assaults (Mazepin). On top of all that, on an entertainment level, at least 25% of the races each year are guaranteed to be dull, pointless processions. And yet we still watch it! Enjoying F1 is an exercise in hoping the future will be better.

Over the last few years Formula E and Indycar have become equals with F1 in my list of priorities. While not free of F1's issues entirely, the racing is generally better, especially in Formula E. In six seasons, I think there have been maybe two bad races, and even they were more interesting than the average F1 race. Formula E races are more fun to attend in-person too, the tickets are cheap, the races are easier to get to, you have pretty great access to the paddock and pit lane to walk around, the viewing positions are better, the whole event feels like a mini-festival.

W Series, F2, and Super Formula are all worth watching too!

@yeso#14642 yes! yes!!

ive been a fan of basically every major north american sport at some point in my life excepting soccer. not sure how i had a hockey phase as a child but i think it had something to do with having one of the NHL games on genesis and thinking mario lemieux was cool because he had high ratings. also i liked the san jose sharks logo

was huge into basketball as a kid, just drank up the 90s basketball culture, watched shitloads of NBA on NBC. i played tons of basketball. my team lost every single game from 4th through 6th grade which is incredible to realize now. in 7th grade i was on a different team that was good but everyone was growing way faster than i was and i rarely played. by 8th grade i was toast

football was similarly inescapable growing up but it's just really gross to watch now as an exhibition of violence and american jingoism that actually kills some of its participants

even was into golf (??) at one point

i was a long suffering fan of the KC royals and was huge into baseball for about a 10 year period, to the level of like obsessively following royals prospects in the minor leagues. after having kids i decided i had to drop one of either baseball, music or games if i was going to continue to pursue two of those with any real purpose. unfortunately it was baseball so i'm pretty out of the loop now

A couple years ago, before I finished my solar install on my van, I was living without electricity for about 8 months, and I was going to the library daily, and listening to Dodgers baseball on AM radio! I read several books on the history of Japanese baseball… I think FLCL and Earthbound both have me primed to enjoy baseball… So I got into it just in time for the LA Dodgers to win the world series! Luckily my closest friend and covid bubble buddy is a major life long dodgers fan… I got a cool Blue Seibu Saitama Lions cap, and downloaded all Japanese baseball games for all my retro consoles.

I‘m here to tell you that Dolucky baseball is really fun!

Also I tried MLB Power Pros 2008 for Playstation 2, it’s the last of the mere two games that were ever released from Konami‘s Power Pro Baseball series in the US!… It’s going to take some time to learn all the mechanics but I'm looking forward to the super awesome story mode!

I grew up as a major hockey fan, following the Vancouver Canucks. I played ice hockey in the winter and roller hockey in the summer until I turned 18. In high school, I started to lose interest in hockey in favour of other hobbies. Nowadays, I usually watch 10-15 games per year during the playoffs. I agree with some of you guys about the chaos, although I am starting to turn around and see that as part of the charm. The game is a lot more organized than it seems, at least in terms of the player's positioning and the set passing plays, which are well-oiled and practiced, but the fact that they are playing on ice really puts a hard limit on just how much you can meaningfully control as a coach or a player.

The main thing that turns me off of hockey is that I find the over-aggression stupid. Especially in playoff hockey, with people getting in little tuffs after the whistle every dang play. It just feels completely unnecessary and drags the game down for me. What's worse is that, having played, I imagine their "smack talk" conversations as being equivalent to the ones I heard while playing in high school, and I don't think I'm too far off.

Having said all that, I love rugby! Rugby probably appears even more chaotic and crazy than hockey - and to a large extent, it is - although I will say again that it's more organized than it might look. It is less reliant on strange bounces than hockey, and I think the more aggressive aspects are channeled more effectively into the playing of the sport itself, instead of feeling like a side-show. It's a great mixture of physicality, finesse, and teamwork, which is really what sports are all about. Maybe I'll come back to this thread and talk about rugby more at some point, because I feel like I have a million more things to say about it.

Anyway! Nowadays I love tennis. I only really watch the Grand Slams, but when they're on, I follow the men's and women's side religiously. I think individual sports appeal to me most because there's less randomness. I always feel the best player won the match, barring injuries or other outside influences. And this is borne out by the fact that, at least on the men's side, the same three people have won almost every tournament for like 15 years. That sounds boring, but honestly, watching an _incredible_ tennis player kinda beat up on a _really good_ tennis player is prime entertainment for me. And when two of the Big Three meet up, boy howdy! Now that's a good time!

As much as I hate it, I do tend to experience sports mostly like a fan, focused almost entirely on my own rooting interests first and foremost. In fact, it often takes my teams being eliminated from postseason contention before I can sit and actually enjoy other games in a meaningful way. This makes it hard to enjoy, for instance, American football. When the Eagles are terrible, I don‘t feel like watching football very much, and as it’s such a detail oriented game, it can be easy to fall behind if you aren't really keeping up with it.

I also watch baseball and basketball pretty religiously, and have had an on/off love affair with more international fair like F1 and association football over the years. I follow the latter two closely and watch a lot, but I find that the lack of americanized parity can make it difficult to get invested in a similar way. I know literally everything about the Washington Wizards, reading constant daily columns and listening to podcasts/radio. I just won't ever get that level of intense fandom from something like a random Serie A team (unless I pick up Italian I guess.


@tapevulture#14659 actually kills some of its participants

yeah I worked in a rehab hospital for a while and we had some ex nfl guys come through. Relatively young too, 40s and 50s but total wrecks physically, really sad.

I was pretty sporty as a kid. I played Soccer, Cricket, Hockey, Basketball, Waterpolo, and did Rowing and Swimming. All of these were for various amounts of time. The busiest I ever got was when I was about 15 and did rowing, swimming and waterpolo all at once.

Swimming was my main sport which I continued into highschool along with waterpolo. I‘m really not one for competitions and couldn’t really deal with the stress at the time. My best feats were my team winning the Plate (8th overall) at the nationals for Waterpolo, and swimming 1km in about 14.30 min.

For all the sports I played I never really watched or followed any of them apart from when they were shown in the Olympics. As a NZer Rugby is a massive sport and one most people follow. When we hosted the rugby world cup my school terms and holidays were altered to accomodate it. We also have a southern hemisphere city's league called the super 15/16/20? which is fun to get behind, I support the Hurricanes (Wellington).
We're currently hosting the America's Cup. Another event that NZ really gets behind when it's on. I have memories of being 5 or 6 and my class walked down to the waterfront to cheer on our team.
Some of my family follow cricket so I dont mind watching that when it's on. Definitely one the chillest games to watch.

Last year was the first time I watched F1 and probably the most I followed a sport. I woke up at 3am to watch some of the races. I got into motorsport by watching Formula E because it was being pubicly broadcast and there were multiple NZers in the sport, I like it but the eeee sound is hard to get used to and the cars seem really frail. I really like the attack-mode initiation in FE an would prefer it in F1 over stuff like DRS. Fan boost is literal ass and kinda ruins the sport as a concept.

When I was a teenager all I did was play basketball, if I wasn‘t working or at school you could find me at a local basketball park playing pick up games or just practicing my jumpshot. I spent hours and hours just having fun playing and trying to get better. Enjoyed playing a good pick up game, making a tough shot over an intense defender felt so satisfying. Slowly began playing less as I grew older. Got my first girlfriend and really stopped for a while. Played on and off after things didn’t work out. Been over two years now since I have played a pick up game. Moved to an area where there doesn't seem to be a local basketball scene.

Back when I was actively spending a lot of time playing I watched a ton of nba games, I was a big wizards and john wall fan. During this time my brother planned maybe the best surprise gift I ever received. I remember asking my boss why I was off on a particular thursday, he just said he didn't need me for some reason. The man was in cahoots with my brother. Then that fateful thursday night my brother told me he had brought tickets to the wizards game, they were playing nearby. So him, my dad, and I went to the game that night, it was a unique and wonderful experience. What a wonderful surprise, since then I have tried to go to at least one nba game a year, though 2020 broke that streak. I am thankful to have a thoughtful brother that gave me such a wonderful gift.

Oh nice, sports are good. Well for one, I have this Arsenal avatar which represents my greatest sporting interest for the past decade and change. (As well as the Dreamcast!)

I've tried my hand at most of the big sports at one point or another, to varying degrees of success. I can't skate however, despite having a dad who still plays hockey multiple nights a week at 60 years old. To which I am increasingly jealous of as time moves forward, having not really played any sports regularly since high school.

I'm from Massachusetts, and have the standard fan affiliations that come with that. I try to keep up with most of the bigger sports, maybe with baseball lagging a bit behind these days. Combat sports, golf/tennis majors, etc. that's all good too. I can be sold on anything short of auto sports, I guess.

@beets#14695 The thing about FanBoost is that it‘s promoted as having a greater impact than it actually does. The extra power it affords comes out of the driver’s overall allowance anyway, meaning many drivers (when they actually use it) hit the button then immediately lift so as not to run out of energy by the end of the race. For a while, some drivers even had an informal agreement not to use it against eachother. It also makes the driver ineligible for Fastest Lap points, so the drivers at the sharp end often avoid it for that reason. I could probably count the number of times it's actually impacted a race on one hand.

Attack Mode, on the other hand, is absolutely brilliant.

@billy#14752 Yeah I was being a bit over the top about fan boost. I already understood that it has very little difference in the race, I just dont like it being part of the sport.

I do like how expiremental Formula E, I guess not everything will hit. I'm still shocked they used to swap cars mid race, it seems so cartoonish.