Newly Self-Diagnosed

I have recently diagnosed myself with a rare, (I don’t know actually, maybe it isn’t all that rare) seldom discussed illness.  Probably incurable.  Flares up around this time of year (actually there are different varieties that flare up at different times of the year.)

What is it, you ask? (Thank you for your concern.)

Nope, not allergies.

I have Sports Attention Deficit Disorder.  That’s SADD for short.

I cannot watch sports.  Like literally can not.

My eyes won’t focus.  My brain won’t process.  I hear cheering and I have no idea what it means.

This time of year it takes the form of Baseball Attention Deficit Disorder (that’s BADD, for those of you keeping track).

And it is, indeed, bad.

My son plays the game.  I adore that child.  Everything he does is fascinating to me.  Until he puts on a uniform and picks up a ball.  Then I am out.

My darling son sits in the dugout.  I watch butterflies go by.  I chat with my friend.  I check Facebook.  I play Frisbee with my daughter.  I complain about the weather.

I completely forget that I am supposed to be watching baseball.

People cheer.  I wonder why.  Then I hear – GO TATER! (actually they say his real name…) and I think, “I know a kid named Tater, he’s cute.”  And then I remember – BASEBALL!

I try to watch him bat.  I watch the ball go toward him.  I watch him swing.  If he swings more than twice my mind begins to wander.

Butterflies.  Flowers.  Cold/Hot/Damp.  Chat.  Frisbee.

Wait a minute – what is he doing standing on first base?  OH NO…I missed the hit.  I cheer – completely apropos of nothing.  Yay!!

The next kid is up.  My child will run soon.  But not yet…

Butterflies.  Thirsty.  Chat.  Facebook.  Is that rain?

Oh right, baseball.

Where is my kid anyway?  Oh rats…sitting in the dugout again.  I missed it.

What did he do? Was it good? Do I console or congratulate?

He runs over – “Did you SEE!?!?”

No.  No I did not.  But I tell him he was great (I am sure he was) and that I am proud (of course).  And I vow that the next time up I will do better.

Yet I don’t.  It is not possible.  Eyes and brain will not cooperate.

And don’t even get me started on watching him man the outfield.  Even HE can’t pay attention during that part.

My condition sadly extends beyond Little League.  If you tell me something about some Philadelphia team, I am generally surprised that it is the season for that sport.  No, I do not know how they are doing.  No, I do not know whether it is preseason or playoffs.

I have friends and family who are die hard sports fans.  They seem to not understand the extent of my affliction.

Do I watch the Super Bowl? Nope.  I like the snacks though.

Professional baseball? Nope.  But the beer and the mascots are fun.

Professional basketball? Not at all.  Really can’t think of anything fun about that.

At most live events I end up watching the cheerleaders and forgetting that they are, in fact, cheering for a game.

I believe that this is proof that cheerleading is not a sport.  My eyes and brain are able to cooperate to watch an entire routine.

Sorry ladies, I wish I could support your arguments that it is just as athletic and demanding as any other sport. That may be true, but you just don’t have the relentless monotony factor going for you.

And for that I thank you.

About Kristen

Me: Kristen, 40-something (there's no need to be more specific), suburban mom of 2, working girl, therapeutic writer Addictions: Iced Coffee, FOMO resulting in twitchy compulsion to check FB/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest in an unending loop, texting, hugging my children, yelling at my dog

9 Responses

  1. Rob

    When I stopped coaching youth soccer and became a spectator, I discovered it was difficult for me to stay awake during the games.

  2. kirsten

    Okay, this is truly great stuff, Kristen. Quick, copyright BADD and SADD. Seriously! I have both, and I really have BADD2 (Basketball Att. Def. Disorder). Can’t see the point of watching it at all. To humor my husband I watch the last 30 seconds, which is apparently all that counts in basketball anyway.

    I went to all of my brother’s soccer and baseball games, and watched none of them. Ever. I read books, I snacked, I talked, I walked. DIdn’t watch. Don’t think I missed much. I told him he “did great” and I was proud of him, and that seemed to do, too! I go to Georgia’s games, now, and I end up talking to Karen and Catherine and random people on the sidelines. But I clap when everyone else does, and I say “great game!” to Georgia. That I am there is apparently enough, and I am sure it is enough for you, too! :)

  3. Gman

    I am a student of any sport. This runs me into trouble when trying to describe the best way to attack a three-ball break in high-level croquet, because I tend to tell neophytes, “The pattern is just like a three-man weave in basketball,” completely forgetting that most people who play croquet do so because they HATE all other sports.

    You are spot on about the LL outfield and its uselessness, and it goes beyond that, even. My boy is in his first year, the 7-8 division, and up until this year it was coach-pitch. This year, the wizards who make the rules at some level decided it would be a good idea to get the kids pitching. This leads to the two kids on any team who can throw the ball more than 20 feet either having a good time striking out other kids or melting down after issuing walk after walk, while EVERYBODY else on the field, infield and outfield, is filling the inside of their gloves with dirt and lamenting the missed opportunity to watch a SpongeBob rerun.

    But I would recommend that you learn the infield fly rule, when an offensive team in soccer is offside, and what the football term “pulling guard” means. You don’t have to learn anything at all about the sports other than that, but if you recognize those elements alone, you will gain instant cred in very tough crowds. And never, ever ask a hockey fan the difference between icing and frosting.

  4. Kristen

    Gman, we are in the land of kid-pitch. But the kids can pitch and pitch and pitch until the other kid gets a hit. This isn’t helping my attention problem :)

  5. I’m pretty omnivorous when it comes to sports, so can generally tune in live or online, watch things for a while and appreciate the talent (or lack thereof) of those participating, and then move on to the after-the-fact statistics of said sporting event, which I actually often find more interesting . . .

    There are a few sports that I absolutely can’t watch, though . . . pretty much anything that isn’t hockey but occurs on ice in the Winter Olympics, plus synchronized swimming and anything on a gymnastics mat in the Summer Olympics . . . the costumes alone give me the jibblies, never mind the fact that most of the participants in those sports are past their primes by the time they reach voting age. I also refuse to watch any of the mixed martial arts spectrum of atrocity exhibitions . . . that’s bloodsport, plain and simple, for people who don’t have the patience to wait for the crashes at NASCAR events . . .

  6. David

    Great post!! I am a sports nut, but I have several friends who just aren’t into it, unless they are participating. I also had a friend who died a few years ago who was an incredibly nice guy but a total geek (a lovable geek but a geek nevertheless). At his funeral the rabbi read a quote from one of his two sons, who said that when most dads came and watched their sons’ games they would yell encouragement at the kids or razz the refs, but when Mark came to the game he read the New York Times and did the crossword puzzle. However he showed up and even if he didn’t quite get into the game he was there.

    So take heart, Kristen, your “disorder” doesn’t mean you don’t care about your kids. It means that you are trying to be a good parent in the best way you can — showing up!!

  7. You’ve helped me so much with this post. Seriously, it’s like I’ve found a new support group.

    Hi, I’m Mikalee, and I have SADD. And BADD. And probably any other sports-related affliction known to man.

    (*crowd: Hi, Mikalee…*)

    And since you’ve so bravely stepped out there, I’m going to up the ante and make a horrible admission: I often can’t even tell which child is mine! How awful is that??? (Hey, haters: they call them UNIFORMS for a reason…)

    But truly, they all look the same in their cute little outfits…if it weren’t for the name on his back, which I can only glimpse on occasion, I would NEVER know!

    I often tell my friends in the stands that I wish I could treat my son as I do my luggage, to which I affix a piece of neon curly ribbon so that I can distinguish my black suitcase from everyone else’s black suitcase. But I’m guessing my 11-year-old might take issue with the curly ribbon on his back. Just sayin’…

    Does it help my cause that I have really bad vision and refuse to wear glasses?

    Anyhow, thank you for allowing me to know I’m not alone.

    SADD and BADD victims unite! :)

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