I walked into Licks (best burgers in Toronto) for a bite to eat after my Karate workout. The guy cooking the burgers had been running back and forth between the restaurant and the bar next door checking the score of the game. You see, apparently there was a game going on. Some sort of hockey game between the Leafs and the Habs, or something. And he wanted to talk to me about it because, obviously, I’m a guy and of course I would know about this game. Right? I only knew there was a game because I had been watching the news earlier where I saw them interview men whose faces were painted blue and they were wearing Leafs jerseys.
One of them said:”The Leafs are like a religion to me.” Really? A religion? In what way is hockey like a religion? I can’t even begin to make a co-relation. Maybe he really meant “organized” religion, where large groups of people are brainwashed into doing stupid things – like maybe painting your face blue.
Another guy said: “You have to support your team.” Really? Why? Why do I have to support my team? Must we all just moronically obey the team because we all share the same geography? Would this guy obey Hitler? (I think he would). Aren’t we all just cheering for laundry as Jerry Seinfeld once said? And in what way are they my team? I don’t own them. I would never buy a ticket. Don’t tell me I “have” to do something and then not even give a reason for it. Do these guys know this is why they don’t have any women with them?
Back to the restaurant. The hamburger guy says: “It’s 3-2. They have to make it this year. Other years it was forgivable, but not this year.” Then he just stares at me.
I say: “Yeah… well. I sure won’t want to be here if they ever do win because the city will go nuts.” The city went crazy when the Blue Jays won the world series. But everyone always tells me that if the Leafs win the city will break out into riots that will make the aftermath of the World Series look like Mister Rogers Neighborhood. It is our own brand of hooliganism. It truly frightens me to think of drunken heterosexual white guys with faces painted blue smashing windows down Yonge St. This is not my idea of a good time.
Burger guy says: “You know it almost happened with the Raptors too.”
Me: “Did it? Did they make it to the…finals?”
Burger guy looks at me blankly and says something about the three point something or other that Vince Carter (?) blew or something. He talked about it as if it was common knowledge. I honestly didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. And when are you going to cook my burger? I thought impatiently.
This is the story of my life. My first experience with hockey was when I was four years old and a kid hit me in the nose with a hockey stick. I have always been bad at sports. Occasionally I would sort of pick up on some sport like bowling or badminton and have a good try at it. But at some point I have to realize that I am not a sports guy. I’m a musician. I’m an actor. I love theatre and movies and books and beautiful women. I’m also a day dreamer. Not a good thing to be when you’re sparring with a black belt – as I would unfortunately learn less then 24 hours later.
Even in the theatre community guys will come up to me and start saying something like “I can’t believe blah blah hit the blah blah on a 4.0 corner blah blah blah.” I always look back blankly. They may as well be speaking Romulan. I want to ask them what they think of Sheila E being in Prince’s band again. But I know they will stare back at me blankly. Seriously, just because I am a guy does not mean I know about this stuff. Why do people assume that?
The funny thing is I was actually just at the gym doing Karate. So, as you can see I am still trying to get better at sports. I recognize I need to get into shape and be stronger and be able to defend myself. I love the camaraderie of Karate. The people are super nice and supportive. But my mind wanders, like it always has. I’m out of shape and wasn’t able to go up a belt at the last grading. Then less than 24 hours later I ended up sparring with a new person in the club. If you just come in to the club, even if you have a black belt, you are not supposed to come in wearing that belt. So this guy had a white belt on – like me. But he wasn’t a white belt and he kicked hard and my hand wasn’t in a clenched fist and my finger on my right hand was injured.
I’m a piano player. A songwriter. As I winced in pain I saw my future change. Either I would never play the piano again or I was going to have to hang up my Karate Gi. As it turns out my finger is just badly bruised. Obviously I can still type so its not too badly damaged. But now people are warning me that maybe this isn’t the right sport for me.
And so, once again, I am faced with a simple fact. Some people are really good at sports, like the black belt I sparred with. He moved at an astonishing speed with powerful strength and agility. Other people, like me, are really good in arts and entertainment. That is what our brains are wired for.
Conclusion? Sigh. I guess I’m just not a sports guy.