Thursday, January 31, 2013

Can I Play?



This video gives you the raison d’etre for the book, It’s Game Time Somewhere, by Tim Forbes.  This is the theme—watch 100 events, 50 sports, within a year.  But why?  This is the story, and the journey to get there.  That’s why you’ll keep turning the pages.  And that’s why you’ll nod your head in agreement.

Not every dream ends when you wake up.  Some people are blessed to continue the dream.  Tim Forbes was blessed enough to drop out of the corporate world and step into his dream world.  It’s Game Time Somewhere: How One Year, 100 Events, and 50 Different Sports Changed My Life, relates this dream of Tim Forbes, who left his successful corporate job and lifestyle to pursue his love of sports.

Tim and his wife, The Bird, make a deal.  The deal was that Tim would support The Bird, while she went for her MBA, and then the roles would reverse.  The Bird would support Tim, while he left his corporate job and pursued his dream—working in sports.

The tale is the story of what happens to Tim.  Starting at Professional Golfers Career College, to “sports society experiences", the reader is taken on tour in making life-changing decisions, to disenchantment slowly evolving, back to capturing excitement.   As an adult looking at his childhood's favorite sports, they seem like love—better the second time around? 

Forbes writing style is fun.  His descriptions, surprises, disappointments, and disgust, are portrayed vividly.  The reader will feel.  He calls the commercials during TV games Television Interruptus.  Watching the games as a spectator at the real event, he can pick out the wasted time the game is forced to play around, just to accommodate the sponsors' commercials.  At least at home, you can switch channels, but at the event, itself, Forbes cries out, “What to do?  What to do…?   I’ve got it!  Let’s break up the monotony with a beer and a quick fistfight!”

The Little League World Series had such long breaks that “Several of the players completed puberty in the time it took to get the back underway.” 

Forbes landed a job in golf, after Professional Golfers Career College.  It soon became a “job.”  After this job, Forbes took up his “sports walkabout” seriously—50 different sports.  And the sports weren't just the big ones: football, baseball, soccer, etc.  He visited 100 events from car racing, swimming, tennis, kickball, cross country, curling, etc. 

He learned that being a sports fan wasn't as much fun as it use to be, and it just may be the fans’ fault.  But you will see, reading further, it will depend on the level of the sport.  “There is an undeniable ugliness in the world of spectator sports.”  Money spoils the fun. 

The amateurs, the second-tier, the no-hyped, fringe sports, were where the spectators found the most satisfaction.  “Smaller just may be better.”  Who knew?

Somewhere from packed stadiums to counting heads, the spectator atmosphere changed for the better.  The smaller group lived and died with their athletes.  These second-tier sports had die-hard followers.  They took their victories and defeats to heart.  And get this—they also took their good attempts to heart. 

Another surprise was learning about the transition from paying athletes to play, to athletes paying to play.  What a concept!  This epiphany came when Forbes realized that The Bird paid an entry fee to run a marathon.  Now here’s proof of an athlete loving her sport.  She actually paid for the privilege to play!

There are many lessons, in It’s Game Time Somewhere.  Tim Forbes learns to love a new sport—lawn bowl; he makes new friends, he has new found appreciation for some hard working, and deserving athletes, and he has written a book.  A good book, that relates how a man learns a lot about himself, while journaling the process.