Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

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Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 10 Dec 2016, 20:15

Growing up, my family never watched sporting events. I mean, my dad took me to the (very) occasional hockey or baseball game, and I played softball as a kid, but having a preferred team? Following that team? Watching a sporting event on television, ever? Nope. Not a thing we did, for whatever reason.

The last little bit, I've started to get interested in organized sports. It started with watching curling at the 2010 Olympic Games, and I've followed that fairly closely since. I watched an NHL hockey game a couple years ago, too, and didn't care for it - though my sister's boyfriend is going to watch a game with me, and see if it's something I can be interested in.

This year, I've decided to try a bunch of different sports, to see if I like them. Growing up as a nerd, I avoided the things, since they were for the "jocks" who tormented me. Now I figure I might be missing out; it's good to try this stuff, I figure.

Here's the grand list of what I've tried so far:

- Curling: Love it.
- Ice Hockey: "Meh." Though I'd like to like it, and I'll try it again.
- Auto racing: F1, Indycar, and rally. Problem is, it's tough to see them televised where I am. Love to give them more of a try.
- Red Bull Air Racing: Again, hard to catch, but interesting enough to try again.
- Rugby Sevens: Saw it during the Olympics, loved the hell out of it. Too bad there's no professional rugby around here...
- CFL Football: Love it.

...and, not ten minutes ago, I finished watching my first ever soccer game. The MLS championship game. My impression was... mixed. Frankly, I felt very similar to how I felt watching ice hockey. That is to say, "meh." There seemed to me to be a lot of milling around running after the ball (just like how in hockey, there's a lot of milling around skating after the puck). It didn't really hook me.

Funny thing is, this particular game went to a shootout. I found the penalty kicks a lot more interesting and engaging than the game proper. Which I hear is backwards...

I think maybe I don't care for sports where there's a lot of quick back and forth, a lot of milling around, and infrequent stoppages of play. It would explain why hockey and soccer don't really do it for me, but curling and football do. Not sure.

Again, soccer is something I'd like to like, and I'll try it again I think... but, yeah.

Anyway, not really sure why I'm posting this. Maybe some interesting conversation comes out of it, or maybe some people who are more into sports can tell me what I'm doing wrong. :P
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby fantôme » 11 Dec 2016, 01:12

Note: For the sake of international understanding, I will herewithin refer to football as "soccer", much as it pains my overly-traditional British sensibilities to do so.

Having had the opposite experience, having had soccer rammed down my throat as a child to the point where I now despise it: I can maybe tell you a thing or two about it.

The main thing to keep fore of mind when considering soccer as a game you may enjoy is national and international variety. Domestic Japanese soccer matches are overall a very different experience from Italian ones, likewise team-based international tournaments differ from the world cup.

International soccer of course only happens when it happens, but I gave domestic examples of Japanese & Italian because their leagues are internationally popular enough that a lot of it can be found online.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 11 Dec 2016, 12:12

Hm... interesting...

Unfortunately, one thing I've discovered is that, to be engaged in a sporting event, I need someone I can plausibly root for. The MLS game last night was between Seattle and Toronto and, being Canadian, I could get behind Toronto FC.

The issue is that Canada isn't at all competitive in the sport at the international level, so I'd have no one to cheer for. Which means I'd be entirely unable to get invested in a game. Of course, the national leagues of other countries (the Premier League being the big one) have a similar problem - no team for me to care about.

(Also, if you want to refer to soccer as "football" and NFL/CFL football as "gridiron football," that's okay by me. ;) )
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Jamfalcon » 11 Dec 2016, 12:29

I grew up in a pretty sportsless household (my grandpa watches a lot, but I never really saw a full game of anything), but like you, big fan of curling. I haven't watched a tooon, but I played for most of my teenage years and would definitely like to go back some day. It just seems like a much more relaxed, but still skillful, game than the "big" sports, and I like having a small team with such clearly defined (and impactful) roles.

Now I kind of want to play again.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby betsytheripper » 11 Dec 2016, 12:47

I can't chime in on a lot of sport, but I'd like to give my two cents about hockey.

As a background, I grew up in a handegg watching house (American football). Both my parents are pretty firmly 49ers fans. I always liked the idea of sport events and team camaraderie, but find handegg super boring. About 4 years ago, my now-ex said one night "I'm gonna watch the Sharks game, you're welcome to watch, too." So I did. And to be honest, it took me a few months to really get it, but I wanted to give it an honest shot.

But now I am a HUGE Sharks fan. Active in the subreddit, got a jersey, socks, a cool crochet hat from my mom, all of it. I find hockey very fun and exciting to watch. Generally. Even though I love my boys in teal, there are games that are soooo boring that I have to keep myself occupied otherwise. Also, it does take time to get used to the rules and to learn how to track the puck on TV (it's so much easier in person), and that can be a big hindrance.

So if you want to give hockey another shot, I'd say keep a few things in mind:
1) Get a loose idea of the big gameplay rules: Offsides, Icing, when Hits are allowed, and the gist of Penalties. The rest of the details will fill in later.
2) Teams in the Pacific conference tend to have much bigger players (tall and giant men), which lends itself to more physical games, which tend to be very exciting with lots of back and forth. (My bias may be speaking here, though :P )
3) For a very competitive game, a rivalry game is a good start (Wednesday Rivalry Night). I am biased, but Sharks/Kings games are often the equivalent of knock-down drag-outs (sometimes a little too literally).
4) Watching with someone who has a Home Team and knows the sport definitely helps, and you should ask questions! If they don't want to answer, they're a jerk. If you have any Q's about hockey you wanna ask, I'd certainly try my best to explain.

Also, I don't know if you use Reddit, but most NHL team subreddits have a weekly New Fan thread, and the Game Day Threads can be a low pressure way to see people talk about the game as it happens (and trash talk to an extent, that depends on the fanbase and the opponent).

And I'll also note that I've tried to watch football (futbol), and will watch the Big Games (international finals, etc.), but it feels like a lot of empty space to me. I feel like hockey is similar in basic concept/structure, but more compact, and therefore much faster, and for me, then, much more interesting.

That was probably closer to ten cents, but I hope it helps :)

Oh, and if you find a sport you're into but want to learn how it works in depth very fast, play the fantasy version of that sport. You'll crash course into all the minor nuance and the tiniest details of the athletes and stats.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 11 Dec 2016, 13:12

Jamfalcon:

Yep, that's one of the reasons I like curling, too - the pace is slow enough that it seems more "thoughtful" than other sports can be. That might be a misconception, but taking turns and pausing to think out shots would lend itself to that (and now I['m wondering if I might enjoy watching golf...).

Also, I really like that the men's and women's games are treated equally. Both are big deals, and both involve exceptionally high levels of play.

And, yeah, I'd love to give playing it myself a shot some time. There are a number of clubs here in town... I just can't quite justify the multi-hundred dollar club fees, plus equipment costs, at the moment. Maybe I'll be in a position to do so next winter. Here's hoping.

betsytheripper:

Ha. You're saying a lot that makes sense, here.

I'll definitely look up some rules before I try an NHL game again. And, as I mention, I'll have my sister's boyfriend there to help walk me through it. He not only came from an NHL-watching home, he played hockey as a kid.

I do know I'm not at all a fan of the more gruesome nonsense that goes on in hockey games. Fighting just strikes me as idiotic and brutish. Big turn-off for me. Goes with the territory, though, I'm afraid...

As to which team to watch and care about... well. I live in Ottawa. 'Nuff said. :P

And yeah, I swore off Reddit a few years ago when it started to get really toxic. Not for me.

As to fantasy sports... that's a really good suggestion. I was thinking of trying my hand at CFL fantasy football next season, for fun. It never occurred to me that it would be a learning tool, too. Huh.

Thanks for the advice! :)
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby betsytheripper » 11 Dec 2016, 13:30

Re: Fighting in hockey, I think it gets overblown quite a bit. Hits are an essential part of the game (knocking opponent away from the puck), but fighting is usually in response to dirty plays and bad blood for egregious hits, especially if a player gets injured. It's more like an honor thing, but I've never seen it carry over off ice. "Goons" are a dying archetype, partially due to change in the meta and partially because the NHL is now discouraging fighting. If that helps hockey's case at all.

Also the hockey subs are straight up some of the nicest subs I know on Reddit, very little crap flies in them. Of course, varies sub to sub, but if you ever wanna join us in SanJoseSharks, I enforce a positive, friendly environment through kindness and motherly shaming. :P
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Jeezy » 11 Dec 2016, 13:37

The top levels of motorsport are getting increasingly more difficult to watch without paying through the [body part] for them. However, if you've got the time/inclination to watch endurance racing the races are often streamed on Youtube or their own sites. Endurance racing nowadays is at the very least filling in the gaps between the regular March-November seasons in most series. I love it, but I know it's not going to be for everyone. The sound of Corvettes and Aston Martins rumbling past will never get old for me! I also love the technology in the LMP1 hybrids, Formula e and F1 cars, it's amazing how quickly that tech has developed.

NismoTV has a Japanese touring cars, Blancpain endurance series, Nurburgring 24h and Bathurst 12h among others.
24H Series shows several 24h races that involve GT3, GT4 and touring cars. The next one is the Dubai 24h on the 13th Jan I think.
FIA WEC is pretty good if you can't find the races live - they'll eventually put up a 52 minute highlights program from each of the 6 hour races and Le Mans. IMO, the World Endurance Championship was the most entertaining racing series I watched this past year.
European Le Mans Series streams all its 4h races live somewhere on the site. LMP2/LMP3/GT3.
IMSA (streaming at IMSA tv) might be more for you since it's a US championship. The headline act so to speak has LMP2 cars, Daytona Prototypes, LMP3 and GT3 cars but there's quite a few other series stream on there AFAIK. The Daytona 24h is always awesome and is on the 28th of January.

Formula e is also pretty entertaining if you can find somewhere to watch it. Last season was streamed on youtube but I stopped watching on there because it was blocked in the UK (because it was also on TV) so dunno about elsewhere.

I'm hoping that the new owners of F1 have some good ideas for streaming and whatnot so that people could, like, watch it without a fight.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 11 Dec 2016, 14:19

Arclight_Dynamo wrote:I do know I'm not at all a fan of the more gruesome nonsense that goes on in hockey games. Fighting just strikes me as idiotic and brutish.


Interesting. My main takeaway from nine years of martial arts hovered somewhere around 'taking a punch is WAY more exhilarating than receiving one.

Anyway, as this particular case illustrates rather well, sport is very much a different strokes for different folks kind of affair- as with all things, it's about finding what really piques your interest and then attempting to get involved in some kind of community from there. Community is what drives sporting interest; it keeps you engaged, keeps you informed and inevitably makes it a much bigger part of your life. And the community involved in different sports is very different- highly organised, televised sports (rugby, football (all varieties), handball etc.) tend to have a large community of people who will watch but never play, whilst more long, individual or niche sports (mountain biking, skiing, bowls and so on) tend to have very little in the way of a dedicated 'watching not playing' following. Which sports fall into which category depends highly on location and culture. Point being, I am of the opinion that to get the most out of a sport it really helps to find and engage with an IRL local sporting community.

My advice for finding what you like? Scan channels, note down throwaway remarks seen online or in meatspace, and make an effort to go hunting through YouTube or similar. Give it a watch, and if it doesn't particularly grab you... then just go 'sod it' and move along. There are enough sports out there that you shouldn't have to compromise all that much.

Secondly, don't be afraid to try before you watch. Any sporting club or community worth its salt will have some setup for letting you come along as a newbie to try things out, no matter your fitness or experience. And it's frequently the case that a community makes a sport far more special and valuable than the game itself- I know some folks who don't watch international rugby any more, they just like playing with their mates on a Sunday.

As for sports I advise... well, I've already made rugby's case ;-)
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Jamfalcon » 11 Dec 2016, 21:13

Arclight_Dynamo wrote:And, yeah, I'd love to give playing it myself a shot some time. There are a number of clubs here in town... I just can't quite justify the multi-hundred dollar club fees, plus equipment costs, at the moment. Maybe I'll be in a position to do so next winter. Here's hoping.


You definitely should! It's obviously still a game of skill, but it's pretty beginner friendly too. Surprised at those fees, though... maybe it's less popular in BC, but it seems like my local club is super stoked to get anyone to join, especially if they're not seniors. I think It was about $40 to play weekly in a teens league for the season (I'm sure a bit more for adults) and while I ended up getting my own, they had a few dozen brooms and some sliders there for anyone to use.

Might be worth looking into some kind of beginners/intro level lessons that might be more affordable and give you a chance to try your hand at it without the big investment?
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 12 Dec 2016, 11:36

betsytheripper:

Fair hits in hockey don't bug me at all. It's the, well, goonery that you often see that puts me off. When two guys throw down gloves, grab each other by the jersey with the left hand, and proceed to knock out each others' teeth with the right. All while the ref stands there watching, and the crowd cheers. It's extraneous to the game, outside the rules, and if it happened in any other sport the players would be thrown from the game. Imagine if it happened in baseball! Heck, I've seen it happen in a CFL game. A player punched another player while trying to stop him. The refs gave him a penalty for discreditable conduct... and this was nowhere near as bad as what goes on in hockey.

So. Yeah. If it turns out I like the rest of the sport, I can put up with the fighting. But I'll never like it.

Jeezy:

Ooh! I know I've wanted to catch the 24 Hours of LeMans. But, as you say... kind of hard.

Another oddball motorsport I've wanted to watch is the Andros Trophy. It's basically rallycross... on ice. The clips I've seen are wild. But no one seems to carry it here... and all the broadcasts are in French.

My pseudonym is Ix:

See above what I said to betsytheripper about fighting. Basically, if the game includes moderate contact (hits in hockey, or tackles in football) or the point is safe sparring (boxing or judo), it doesn't bug me. I've even considered taking up boxing myself, if I can get into a bit better shape. But if two guys decide to throw down, outside of the rules of the game, to do serious harm to each other? Yeah... not for me. Heck, UFC is a turn-off, too, even though it's all within the rules.

But, yeah, your "give it a chance, and if it doesn't work, say 'sod it'" is kind of what I'm doing at the moment. I'm trying a bunch of different stuff, and seeing what sticks. I just want to make sure to give everything a fair shake, you know? Maybe this soccer game was a bad one - I'll give it another chance. And maybe having a fan talk me through a hockey game will make it enjoyable. What's the harm in trying, eh?

And you make a good point about community. I'm going to make a point of actually going to a CFL game or two next season. It's one thing to sit on your couch and watch. It's another entirely to be in the stands. Plus I mentioned I think I'm going to try to do a bit of CFL fantasy football. That pretty much requires a community. (Actually... I wonder if anyone here would be interested in joining me?)

As to playing myself... we'll see. Certain sports, absolutely (curling, say) and certain sports absolutely not (hockey, say - I can't even skate). But you're not wrong.

And, yup, you sure did make rugby's case. What I saw of it, I loved. I hope that North American league gets going, and allows Canadian teams in the next few years. Crap, my dream would be for an all-Canadian league, with a team right here in Ottawa. Unlikely, but one can live in hope. ;)

Jamfalcon:

...huh. That's... huh. Not at all what the fees are like around here. Membership is in the hundreds of dollars, but you can rent ice time on an individual basis. The problem is that the Ottawa Curling Club doesn't actually tell you what the individual rental fees are. Plus I'd need seven other interested people to make a go of that. Joining a league makes more sense, in that I can find other interested people looking to form a team that way.

Plus, well, I'd need instruction. I'd rather sign up for a beginner's clinic than rent a sheet on a one-off-basis with a provided instructor, for an unknown amount of money, all alone.

In any case, I'm sure the club is all full-up this year - they ask you to sign up around September/October. Curling is a thing around here. And especially at that club - it's the one Rachel Homan curls out of.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby mtvcdm » 17 Dec 2016, 08:49

For a lot of sports, as a spectator, it's good to be aware that one's enjoyment can often come down to the specific game you happen to have tuned into that day. One day you can be tuning into an absolute thriller of a soccer game with the goalkeepers getting bombarded all day long, the next day the ball will rarely leave midfield and you'll be struggling to keep paying attention.

I'd say take that into account when deciding if you're going to give a sport whose game you didn't particularly enjoy another shot. Look at what the more established fans thought of the game. If they're bored out of their minds too, you probably just got a legit bad game and it might be worth trying it again. If everyone's excited but you, then yeah, probably not your thing.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 18 Dec 2016, 09:45

Yeah, that was absolutely the case with the soccer game I caught - no one scored the entire game, even in extra time. It was tied 0-0 when it went to the shootout.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby eostby » 19 Dec 2016, 20:59

I am both a nerdsm'n and a sportsperson, so if you have questions about sports, I will try my best to answer them for you. Can't promise I'll get all of them, as there are some even I don't like/understand, but I'll do what I can.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 20 Dec 2016, 10:35

Well, thank you! I might just take you up on that. :)
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 09 Apr 2017, 12:29

Right, now that it's spring, all the sports seasons seem to be starting up. I just watched an MLB game - Toronto @ Tampa Bay - and I'm not sure what to think.

All the talk about baseball being "slow" is true, but I don't really mind that. In fact, I think I prefer slower games to fast ones. I have trouble knowing just what the hell is going on in, say, a hockey game. I also think I prefer asymmetric games (gridiron football, curling) to symmetric ones (soccer, hockey). I like that each team has a defined goal in opposition to the other team's defined goal. Baseball does that.

But.. I'm not sure if I like baseball or not?

I definitely liked it better than the soccer game I caught, but nowhere near as much as curling or CFL football, which are my current go-to "sports that I like." I think I'll give MLB another shot. Maybe later in the season - this early, maybe the teams are still finding their games? No idea. I do get the impression that an in-person baseball game would be a lot more fun.

In other sports stuff... the gold medal match of the World Men's Curling Championship is tonight, and it's going to be a cracking good game. Canada (Gushue) vs. Sweden (Edin). Probably the two best rinks in the world right now. Obviously I'm pulling for Canada, but I'm going to enjoy the hell out of this no matter who wins it.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby eostby » 09 Apr 2017, 16:54

The main reason people are excited about early season baseball is just that the season's begun again. Baseball is fairly unique as a sport in that you can go months without paying much attention, hop back in around the beginning or middle of August, and be just in time for the exciting bits of the year.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 09 Apr 2017, 19:22

Huh. Interesting... I did notice, looking at the game schedule, that they seem to play a lot of games compared to other sports. Which, I assume, means that individual games are less important overall, especially in the early season.

Different from what I was expecting.
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby eostby » 09 Apr 2017, 19:44

Yeah, the MLB season is much longer than just about every other American sport (I think only NASCAR is actually longer, simply because they start earlier), and as such, you have a lot of games that don't have a whole lot of meaning in the end. The first half of the season is almost entirely sorting out who could contend for the playoffs and who won't, and the action doesn't really get good for another month after that. The best way to follow for most of the season is to keep an eye on social media in the evenings, as that will often give you the best indication of whether or not something interesting, cool, or historical is happening (i.e. close games, potential no-hitters or perfect games, milestone achievements, etc).
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Re: Arclight_Dynamo's Sports Journey

Postby virre » 11 Apr 2017, 00:57

I did not notice this thread before, probably because it was at it most active during a time I did not have a user here. Now I only quickly read this thread, but let me go through a few points but begin with my background.

(Also I am not sure if it was said before, but in International and many domestic european leauges, Fighting is an automatic game missconduct)

I grow up watching any team sport as enjoyment, International competitions was always viewed in my house. It in fact is the few happy memories of my relationship with my father. Club-teams as we got older got harder because we support different teams.

And for that, I watch all sports a team i Support play in, it'a about the team not the sport. Regardless if Hamamrby is playing soccer (that hurts to write), ice-hockey, handball or what ever it is, I will watch it, and prefarably be at the arena. And thats what it's all about, beeing at the arena singing for the team, the feeling of taking part. It is most noteable in football/soccer, Terry Pratchett explained it weill in Unseen Academicals:
“Well, yes, but it's not about the football."
"You're saying that football is not about football?"
"It's the sharing," she said. "It's being part of the crowd. It's chanting together. It's all of it. the whole thing.”


On Sunday I was at the first homegame for the season for Hamamrby, two days after a terror attack in the city, yet more then 10 000 people walked together to the arena and over 30 000 saw the game, it's about the connection. The game ended 1-1. It was not non-stop action (though it was acctualy quite a lot happening during the game). This is something I feel the US often misses with sports, or when they get it the fans get yelled at for not sitting nicely in the boxes, nobody in Europe would get the idea to use a rival teams star to promote cancer research or what happend when Crosby was booed in Philadelphia. The love for a team can be as much or more then the love of another person or a country (I feel much more associated with the part of town I grow up, and therefor the team related to it, then to a country I never loved).

There is very few places outsidef of sport you will se things like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDL8wyg1aBY


(Sadly it's still a bit dudely even if I hope you notice the ages where varied and there is some none-dudes)

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