Monday, January 3, 2011

Sports Bars

I was kinda sorta half-heartedly invited to watch the Packers/Bears game this past weekend by my best friend. The invitation wasn't half-hearted because he's a prick, but because he knows I don't much like the atmosphere of watching a game in a bar.

"Free shots after a TD aren't enough to make you come out?" he texted me when the game was over.

"No, I have more fun watching the game by myself anyways," I replied, "there's cheaper booze here, and if the game gets boring I can always turn it off."

Now, money is always a valid reason not to go somewhere. But what wasn't said is perhaps more important than what was: I really don't like people all that much and I really don't like watching games with them.

I realize this isn't terribly logical as I've been a 20-game ticket holder for the Brewers the last three seasons and there's way more people at Miller Park for a game than at a bar, AND the beer is more expensive. I like watching the Brewers just fine on television, but there's something special about being at the ballpark: the sounds of the game, the chants of the crowd, the tailgating before and after the game.

Going to concerts would be another good example, as though I enjoy catching a show every now and then, listening to an album on my headphones can be just as satisfying.

Perhaps watching a game at home vs. watching at a bar isn't quite the same as my other examples because it's really just watching on TV at one place or another. But I feel like they all have one thing in common, and it is that I don't do those things every single chance that I get because I don't always feel the need to be part of something better than myself.

I get that we are basically social beings and that we need -- crave even -- that social interaction. I'm not immune to that myself: I'll never forget being at game 3 of the NLDS in 2008, or waiting in line for four hours to get tickets to see Metallica. Those things were great, and the crowd made the event as special as the event itself. But I don't need that interaction most of the time. I can enjoy a game way more by myself without the fanatics screaming at a failed screen pass with 13:51 left in the first quarter just as much as they would for a game-clinching interception. I get that's what makes you fans -- though I am also guilty of yelling at the television, I know it doesn't make a lick of difference -- but it's also what keeps me away from the local watering hole come game time.

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