By Frank Lewis
I need to warn you up front. Because I fear for my life, I am not going to unveil the name of my subject. I know that in America people are only aware of the number of sports they can count on the fingers of one hand, and two of those are really not accepted in all circles. But every four years when the ice and snow dominate the Olympic scene, I pull down my blinds, lock my doors, and take the phone off the hook, so no one knows my secret obsession.
The next morning, I meet my friends at Tim Horton’s and I greet them with a hearty “How ‘bout them Buckeyes?” That way they know I’m a red-blooded American guy who falls right into line with the rest of America. All I know is football, basketball and baseball, yeah, that’s it. That’s what I watch. I ain’t un-American. Yeah boy. I wouldn’t watch any sport in which the participants don’t spit their smokeless tobacco in an empty soda bottle.
But secretly, with the lights turned out and after I have taken my shotgun and made a trip around the outside of my house to make sure no one is watching, I sit back in my recliner and watch a sport that no real American would ever watch, except for All-Pro tight end Vernon Davis and me. And he can embrace the sport which shall remain anonymous openly because no one would ever make fun of him. On the other hand, there’s me. And if I ever walked in and said - “wow, did anyone watch the (fill in secret name of sport) match, I mean, game, last night?” They would drum me out of my favorite coffee court and take away my re-fillable Tim Horton’s mug.
Still, I watch it all afternoon and evening, and tape it during the night, to play in back the next day. I love it. I get excited when it is on and try to see if I can guess the strategy. My wife, who never misses an NCAA Tournament game, never misses a telecast of the secret sport either. Together we share a love for an unnamed sport that only comes around to American TV every four years.
So please, don’t tell Richie, Rick, Laura, Steve, Stan or Janet that I wrote this column. Tell them you saw me grabbing a bag of popcorn at the basketball game last night and I was talking about the Bengals need to draft a quarterback this year. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Forget I even brought it up. Hey, how ‘bout them Reds!”
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.