In the 1990s people in Michigan had so much amazing sports stuff going on. Between the Pistons Bad Boys and the Red Wings dynasty, we were in the middle of a sports renaissance.
This jovial time was absolutely perfect for me, a wide-eyed kid who was gleaning on to anything that was awesome. I because obsessed with ESPN. I watched sports on channels like PASS. My father, seeing my interest, taught me everything he knew and took me to as many games as possible.
I rode that hot sports streak until a few years ago. Even in a world where the world is at your computer, I was starting to lose a bit of interest. It wasn't a massive denial of all things sports, mind you. But when my father started bringing up trades or struggling athletes in conversation, I started to realize I didn't know what he was talking about.
Blame my moves to Wisconsin and Colorado all you want, but I think it was more of a problem in the world of sports. I was starting to realize that sports works in cycles, and the cycles were all coming around to the all-too-familiar scenarios. Upstart punk upsets lofty master. Showman athlete with major contracts gets caught up in a scandal. University makes mistakes and gets punished. New rules make everyone angry until they don't get angry anymore. People on television yell at other people on television while they talk about athletes on television.
Nothing changed! It just started to all look the same, and when that started to happen, I was kind of done. I needed something new to fill my days.
As I wandered around discovering new hobbies and loves, though, something came out of the blue: My little brother started to get obsessed with sports.
He'd always enjoyed sports, but other things had taken up his time for many years. But ever since this past year, he's always talking about sports.
At first it was the Lions. He got really, really into the Detroit Lions. It was a good thing they actually were decent, because he now has some pretty cool paraphernalia to wear around his Wisconsin school to irritate all those Packer fans.
I thought it might die down, but it turns out it's just grown into 2017. He participated in a World Baseball Classic pool. He organized our family's first-ever NCAA Bracket challenge. And now he's watching the NHL and NBA playoffs!
Even in my heyday, I wouldn't have been caught dead watching the NBA playoffs if the Pistons weren't involved.
I enjoy catching his tweets about sports, but it also makes me a little sad. If I put a little more effort into my sports viewing, we could have some spirited conversations about the goings-on in the sports world. But alas, it still feels like a rerun to me.
Maybe another Michigan or Detroit team will have an improbable run that I can follow obsessively. But for now, I'll just sit back and let my brother tell me what's important. I'm sure he'll do a fine job.
Here's the baton, Jared. Run hard!