Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sports-Talking Seatmates

On a recent airline flight, I was seated at a window and two other guys were next to me in the middle and aisle. These guys knew each other, which was easy to tell by their familiar form of speaking with one another.

As the plane was loading and took off, they continued chatting. They asked me a few questions about routine stuff. I politely answered questions like, "where are you going? What will you be doing?," and so forth.

Then their conversation turned to sports.

They seemed to know the names of every player on every team, how each player was doing, and were making predictions about various upcoming football games.

They tried to draw me into their conversation with some casual questions like, "do you think Quarterback [name] on [team] has a chance?"

A chance of what? I haven't a clue.

I smiled and said, "I don't know." I was hoping that they would sense my disinterest and move on, or just talk with each other and not try to involve me.

Then one of the guys asked, "what was the rushing yardage of [football player]?" As if I knew (or cared) about such statistics -- even if the player were on the team from my home location.

I ignored that one, and was pleased that we were interrupted by an announcement over the P.A. system.

But that guy wouldn't give up. He asked me again, "didn't [player] have better rushing last year than this year so far?"

I finally had it. I turned to them, smiled, and said, "I'm sorry, guys, but I don't follow football and don't know the answers to your questions."

They didn't get it. They just kept going. "Okay, but tell me, what do you think about Quarterback [name] on [team]?

I replied and said, "Guys, I told you, I don't know. I don't care about football."

Man, it was like I said that I didn't care about The Bible or God. They got upset. "What do you mean that you don't care? All guys care about this stuff. It's important!"

I wasn't going to argue with them. I just kept quiet. But they persisted with some more questions and comments to try to draw me into the conversation.

I decided that it was best not to make a scene. By then, the announcement was made that we could use portable electronic devices, so since I am smartphone-less, I did the next-best thing. I pulled out my Bose Quietcomfort headphones and connected an iPod to it, turned up the volume, reclined the seat, shut my eyes, and listened to some of my favorite tunes.

Bose headsets are great, but they do not block all sound completely. For hours and hours I could hear these guys blathering about football non-stop. The entire five-hour flight, that's all they did. I never got a nap. But I listened to over 60 of my favorite tunes!

Arrrggghhh... such is life of a non-sports fan.

Life is short: take a hint.

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