Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Games We Play

Cricket game in Waterloo Park

We are coming to the time of year when baseball, hockey, and football seasons overlap. I have become very disenchanted with professional sports due to the exorbitant salaries paid and immature behaviour of some of the players. I refuse to support major leagues at all with the purchase of tickets or licenced merchandise. Even the Olympic Games have become less appealing due to drug scandals and the participation of professional players.

Sports can be great social activities and while I do not have a competitive nature, I do enjoy watching people play a game for the joy of it.

At a local park, a group of East Asian men frequently play a friendly game of cricket. Their families gather under the trees to watch, and may host a barbeque and picnic afterwards. Both teams wear crisp white outfits as cricket players do all over the world. This game is popular in many parts of the old British Commonwealth and some of our larger Canadian cities now have organized community leagues.

Soccer was gaining in popularity in North America even before David Beckham crossed the ocean this year.

Hospital Ladies' Soccer Team

I prefer watching soccer over our football as the players are in better physical condition and appear more skilled to me. There are adult recreational leagues as well as numerous youth leagues in our city. Soccer is hugely popular in Mexico and informal games are played in the cooler air after dark in my brother's large yard. Boys and girls of any age are welcomed.

As children, we played baseball in the school yard after supper in the spring and summer. In the winter, road hockey was played by the hour by boys in the neighbourhood. I seldom see games like this any more as most children are now involved in organized activities or stay inside with their video games.

Paint Job Anyone?

I am a terrible team player because I lack the drive to be a winner. I tend to cheer for the underdog and would try to help the other team if they were losing badly. Activities like biking and walking are my choice for physical exercise. Last month we saw this old car in the park. Paint was available for those who wanted to beautify the body of the vehicle.

No competition...this team activity was a winner!

Baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey, football, curling, cricket, volleyball
Have you participated in team sports for recreational pleasure?


  1. Oh Ruth - that's funny! I just don't enjoy competitive sports and, like you, feel bad for the underdogs.

    Yep - car painting. Much more satisfying.

  2. Sports are wonderful and it is even better seeing so many people enjoying their sport of choice!

  3. My brother would be all over that cricket game.
    He, at age 57, still plays soccer/ aka football. I can't imagine running up and down a field on my bad knees.
    I agree with you that professional sports especially has become corrupted. But I still enjoy seeing individual athletes who I respect excel--e.g. Tiger Woods or Venus Williams.

  4. Having seen several professional soccer games the past few years and more with your brother's semi-pro team of former street gang youth, I have become a fan. I especially like the attitude of his new coach. Even the poorer players get a chance in every game. If they have a good lead he pulls off all the best players. Have yet to see a fight.
    Good sportmanship still exists.
    Mexico Mom

  5. Ah sis, we are opposite at times. Competition is great and no one remembers who came in second. Although with a few gimpy limbs I pay the price for competing in any and all sports.

  6. Hi Ruth,
    Like you, I was never much into team sports as I wasn't a very good athlete. One of my favorite quotes from the movies:
    "If you can't be an athlete, then be an athletic supporter!"
    (I think it was Eve Arden who said that in Grease, wasn't it?)

  7. It's a shame we rarely see children playing a ball game in an open field or playing dodge ballin the street. We loved unorganized sports as children!

    I'm not an athlete either but I do enjoy cheering. Swimming, ice skating, golf (Tiger Woods) can keep me glued to the TV. The underdog is always on my mind but I do enjoy watching the best win!

  8. Cathy- You are a kindred spirit for sure.

    Monarch- There are plenty of choices for sports, something for everyone to enjoy.

    KGMom- My husband at age 55 plays hockey and baseball and remains very competitive. But he gets more aches and pains lately. I enjoy watching gifted athletes too, especially ones that are not arrogant.

    Mom- Interesting comment. Much to read between the lines...

    SLD- You are the most competitive of my brothers, and in more than sports. We are opposites in this area for sure but that's OK.

    RuthieJ- Great quip! I don't recall hearing it before.

    Mary- You and Donna are both Tiger Woods fans. I don't follow golf, but I think he is a great sportsman. Unorganized sports are important for children as they can learn to relate and interact with their peers without adult intervention.

  9. I love to follow major league baseball(not happy about steroids issue),Football,and a handful of other sports.-I try to listen to them on the radio. This way I can keep busy at the same time and won't become a couch potato!

  10. Larry- Good for you for not being a sports couch potato.


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