Former Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan once opined that he felt bad for non-sports fans.
This past weekend in Detroit is just another reason why I totally agree.
The Red Wings’ win an overtime elimination game at home before holding on for dear life against the Ducks in Game 7 in Anaheim.
The Tigers learn that they can’t just show up and expect to win against an improved Indians team.
And although the Pistons are home for the summer, the NBA playoffs are must-see TV.
Now I’m a self-admitted sports junkie.
Who’s the head coach of the Sacramento Kings? Duh, Keith Smart — until he gets fired, at least.
The fifth starter for the Seattle Mariners? That’s Brandon Maurer — with Jeremy Bonderman warming up in the minors.
I get it — I’m not the norm.
But all of my friends are sports fans, too. Maybe not to the extent of my geeky self, but sports fans, nonetheless.
So why is it that people love, or at least like, sports?
It’s the stories, the drama. It’s reality TV — except it’s real!
Would you rather watch someone get “fired” by The Donald, or debate whether Derrick Rose should be voted off the island for not playing in the playoffs despite being medically cleared?
Forget “Undercover Boss,” we’ve got Pavel Datsyuk, the undercover magician. You can’t tell me he wouldn’t be better on “Dancing With The Stars” than Wynonna Judd.
Now chances are, if you’re checking out FOX Sports Detroit, you are indeed a sports fan. But for those other people — the ones who can’t tell the difference between a puck and a baseball — where do they get their fix?
In sports, we’ve got great characters.
There’s the boyish Miguel Cabrera, who doubles as the best hitter in the game.
Then there’s the cocksure Justin Verlander, daring opponents to try and hit his blazing fastball.
On the ice, there’s Mike Babcock, as old-school a coach as you’ll see. I listen to him talk, and I’m ready to skate through a wall.
(Full disclosure: I probably would skate through a wall; I do know how to skate but don’t know how to stop.)
Only in sports could a local boy-made-good like Justin Abdelkader get suspended for a check, then return to help his team save their playoff lives.
I really want to know what non-sports fans do.
Ok, maybe they listen to music, but think about your favorite song. Now think about it as a well-done sports video.
There’s no comparison. There aren’t too many movies with more twists and turns than your team’s season.
Last year, the Tigers made it to the World Series, and getting there was a movie in itself.
The greatness of Cabrera, Verlander and the over-sized Teddy Bear, Prince Fielder. The human drama of watching good men like Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn basically get run out of town. Sounds like something made for Hollywood to me.
I like to read a good book as much as anyone, but it takes me a few days to finish it.
When I watch a game in any sport, I get the whole enchilada of emotions in a nice, tight three hours — two if JV has his good stuff.
My wife is what I’d call a borderline sports fan. She watches our son play baseball and basketball, but when it comes to professional sports, she’s more into the experience of being there than actually being there.
Even so, I can tell her about Miggy chasing the Triple Crown or the Wings blowing a two-goal lead in Game 6 in just over a minute, and she “gets it.”
(Yet somehow, when I tell her about the great shots of my golf round, she tunes out. Hmmmm.)
Listen, I’m not saying that everyone needs to — or even should — obsess about sports the way I do.
But life is so much healthier when sports are involved (pun intended), when you celebrate your team’s victory or grieve their demise.
Unlike regular TV, the “show” never gets cancelled, and the story doesn’t always end up the way we think. We love, we hate, we laugh, we cry.
Sports is the ultimate reality show. What would we do without it?