I never learned how to speak "sports"

I’m not what you’d call a normal guy.

Even before the weekly weeping sessions at my therapist after my quadruple bypass, I knew my Guy-ro-scope was off, somehow.

For one thing:

I don’t speak “sports.” It’s my native tongue, I suppose, the language of my kind, but I never quite learned it. It’s all my father’s fault. See, dear ol’ dad wasn’t a sports guy. He didn’t play ‘em; he didn’t watch ‘em. He didn’t bet on ‘em and he certainly didn’t talk about ‘em, so I no hablá the lingo. He took me to a White Sox game once or twice when I was little but mostly to hang out with his drinking buddies. The closest daddy-o ever got to athletics was the 12-ounce curl. And sometimes he’d hoist a fresh case of Hamm’s into the fridge but not often. He mostly made my mom do the hoisting.



I know about sports. I know the difference between a home run and a touchdown. I’m not, you know, French. But I couldn’t tell you if this is a re-building year for the Cubs or if they actually just suck.

So I’m pretty much lost, a bystander, when two guys on the train launch into the primal vernacular of Man. When the guys at a neighborhood cookout, bellies poking at each other in a circle, start with the manly chatter about the “good-looking” Iowa Hawkeye senior with the “nice pair of hands,” I feel like such a girly-girl.

But I’m learning.

I figured out: “Great game last night” translates, I think, into “How are you today, my fine fellow?”

“I think we’ve got a good chance this year,” means: “Smashing, thank you, ready to tackle another busy day.”

“Our starting line-up looks strong,” is: “Please, dear God, this mind-numbing life is crushing my very soul.”

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