The sports world is new to me

It’s a whole new world.

I never realized it before, but the world of sports is one in and of itself.

You’re either in it or you’re not.

After on-and-off stints as a news writer, feature writer and news editor at The Chronicle, I finally have the opportunity to be a part of the journalistic team that always sparked most of my interest at this paper-the sports boys.

And that’s just what we are: four guys (including yours truly now) who sit around writing articles about anything from the football team to water polo, taking 30 minute breaks every five minutes to watch ESPN.

I can’t believe that after just a week of writing sports, I can now name off the everyday TV lineup on ESPN the same way 4-year olds can tell you what’s on Nickelodeon all day.

But that’s what happens when you’re in this world.

You can’t help but wonder whether Barry Bonds will be able to surpass Hank Aaron’s record of career home runs in a few more years, or if he’ll just give it up so that your boyhood hero Ken Griffey Jr. might have a reasonable shot in five or six seasons.

Then again, you wonder if Griffey will even be able to walk at the end of this season.

Meanwhile, someone keeps bugging you about how many civilians and soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since the outbreak of war.

The only war you’re thinking of is the NHL playoffs and if the Flyers can really pull off an upset over the Devils after losing Eric Desjardins.

Now someone wants to know what the hell you just said-De jar dens or day jardins.

It not like there’s no such thing as a passive fan, which, by the way is what I consider any one who can’t name the TV lineup on ESPN.

Don’t tell me you’re a real sports fan but don’t know what’s on ESPN because you can’t afford cable.

If you were a real sports fan, you’d steal the money to buy cable-maybe even from your mom. If she didn’t have the money, you at least try watching through your neighbor’s window.

Restraining order my ass.

But there are passive sports fans all around. Those are the fans who have just as much interest in whether or not the Lakers will prove any remaining critics wrong and win a ring with all those egos as they do in determining who’s the bigger asshole between George W. Bush or John Kerry.

That also doesn’t mean that real sports fans don’t care about current events and issues.

But it raises an interesting issue. I’m not a senior citizen, but for as long as I’ve been alive and conscious of what’s going on around me, I have noticed once in my entire life when the world of sports and “normal life” collide.

Just once.

How about after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001? Basically, the sporting world went on hold for about a week.

The reason was that in light of the tragedy and potential safety of players, sporting world leaders decided it best to pause for some time.

First, I’m not implying that those in the arena of sports should be more privy to world politics. After all, it’s all based on personal interests, right?

I’m also not saying that there necessarily should be more of a relationship between the sports world and normal life. After all, if you can actually sit through SportsCenter and understand everything, you’re someone special.

It’s just interesting to me, that’s all.

And now I’m a sports writer and get to write a weekly column. So what I find interesting will be what you read to pass time in class.

And don’t worry. I won’t talk about the Final Four or world peace. They both seem like they’re done.

[email protected]