I’ve attended one professional football game in my life, when I was nine years old. I went with my grandfather to a Chicago Bears game in December at Soldier Field in Chicago. We had cheap seats, I could barely see anything, and it was bitter cold. I did not enjoy the experience.
Today I often watch the Monday Night game, some of the playoffs, and usually the Superbowl, but little else. I never watch college football. I will never go to another professional football game. I despise the rough crowd, and I like the closeups and commentaries you get on TV.
I’ve attended one professional hockey game in my life, when I was eleven. Some visiting aunts and uncles and my mother took me on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, after stuffing myself all day. I sat in the middle back seat in the car on the way to the game. In those days all my relatives smoked. My parents gave that up cold turkey in 1960, but this was in the mid-fifties. I had asthma then. The combination of discomforts made me sick to my stomach. They had to make an emergency stop on the Chicago Lake Shore Drive and hustle me out of the car so I could throw up on the ground instead of on them. I didn’t quite make it; I still barfed on myself but missed my relatives. Once I heaved, I felt much better for the rest of the night. My family were pretty good sports about it, but I didn’t smell too good the rest of the evening. There weren’t many people at the game, with few people around us, so my mother made me sit in the row behind them — out of smelling range
I didn’t enjoy that experience or the game, which I found boring. I have no interest whatever in hockey, and have not watched a game even on TV in at least thirty years. I will never go to another professional hockey game.
I’ve attended one professional basketball game in my life, unless you add one enjoyable Harlem Globetrotters game in high school. It was just a few years ago, when the Suns made the NBA finals but were beat by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. The seats were fairly good, and the Suns beat the Minnesota Timberwolves that game. I enjoyed that experience, but I rarely watch basketball games. I’ll probably never go to another professional basketball game unless a rare opportunity to take someone’s seats to a good game drops into my lap.
I have not attended many major league baseball games in my life. When I thought hard I was able to recall every single major league game I’ve ever been to — a total of nine since 1954, four of them in the last two years. I have never not enjoyed being at a baseball game. I like the game and I like the experience of watching it at the ball park. As Woody Allen said: “It doesn’t have to mean anything. It’s just a beautiful thing to watch.”
If I were to go regularly I’d get a small FM radio so I could hear commentary on radio. That will never happen, because (a) I have too many other things to do; (b) it costs too much; (c) when I think about it, I resent the direction the professional game has gone the last few years, with the money and the attitude of many players, not to mention all the between inning nonsense that goes on. Baseball in its classic form from when I was a kid is a thing of the past.