Last Sunday was Father's Day. I was among the fathers asked by the Primary to play a game. We went into Primary and were asked to respond to certain questions about ourselves. Our own kids were asked to give what they thought our responses would be. Points were given for correct matches.
I knew I was in trouble when we were asked about our favorite sport. You see, I'm not a sports guy. I have never much cared for sports. My personal athletic misfortunes included one season of football at age eight and three seasons of baseball from ages eight through ten. I was always one of the last kids picked for any athletic game of any kind in elementary school. And frankly, I was OK with that.
After my youthful unhappy sports seasons, I successfully avoided playing sports for many years except when absolutely necessary. When the other boys broke for the gym and the basketballs the moment "Amen" was uttered in the closing prayer at Mutual, I carefully steered clear of the gym and escaped.
Hanging out with kids in the neighborhood was a little bit different. When my friends wanted to play sports, I usually had to play too if I wanted to hang out with them. When the sport was basketball, I usually just sat on the side of the driveway while the other kids played and made shots. On some occasions, I was needed to make the teams even. But even in those cases, nobody really expected me to play and nobody would be so unwise as to throw the ball to me.
Football was different. I could be on the field with the guys without causing much of a problem. I didn't really hinder whichever team was unlucky enough to draw me. And occasionally I surprised everyone (including myself) by being marginally helpful.
Of course, I had to play a variety of sports in junior high and high school physical education classes. In those settings I found kindred spirits that were also athletic misfits. I did what was required, but nobody really expected me to perform at any sport.
Throughout the years I have mostly succeeded in avoiding being a sports spectator. I have not attended an actual professional sports game since going to a few cheap hockey games when I was a kid. Utah had a professional hockey team back in those days and our family somehow ended up with very cheap season tickets one year.
I have attended my kids' soccer and baseball games. But it is well known among my family members that I am not a sports guy. I could live without sports for the rest of my life and still feel happy and fulfilled.
One of the things I want to demonstrate for my kids is honesty. So when I was asked to write down my favorite sport, I had to honestly answer, "None." I was surprised when my daughter guessed that baseball was my favorite sport. I'm not sure she has ever seen me watch a baseball game. She was still very young by the time her older brothers had all wrapped up their very short baseball careers.
Besides, baseball has got to be one of the most boring sports on the face of the earth. The strategies could be mastered by someone with an IQ in the bottom 5th percentile. A full length baseball game lasts for-stinking-ever. Just wake me up when it's over.
I guess it could be worse. We could be watching golf instead.
My son guessed that soccer was my favorite sport. I have been to more soccer games in my lifetime than any other type of sport game. But that's only because my kids have played soccer. If my kids aren't playing, I don't watch soccer. (Or any other sport, for that matter.)
All of the other dads had favorite sports. Some of them really like certain sports and certain teams. I don't know what teams are out there. I don't know who the players are. I'm rarely even certain what 'season' it is. I really couldn't care less about stuff like that.
The rest of the questions were OK. The only other one that tripped me up was my favorite superhero. Every other dad gave the same answer: Superman. I'm not much of a superhero guy either. But I don't much care for Superman. He's an alien with fantastic physical powers. But he has a weakness for a hard-edged chain-smoking woman that ended up saving his wimpy butt in a recent movie.
I picked The Tic for my favorite superhero; although, upon reflection I would rather have selected Mr. Incredible. The Tic is a goofy spoof on superheroes. (I kind of like the quirky humor that was used in the cartoon series.) Mr. Incredible learns to be a better father.
Alas, my kids are stuck with me for their father. I don't do sports and I'm no superhero. But I do try to be a good father. On occasion I actually succeed.