From the way I devour sports, you’d think I was prepping to host a talk radio show.
Whether it’s a good matchup on Sunday Night Football, a golf tournament, NBA rivalrly, The French Open, or the Dodgers vs. Giants in September, I actively watch the action on the field and carefully listen to the broadcasters’ commentary.
Why? Because a good sporting event is a great story that unfolds in real time.
For years I have declined invitations to Super Bowl parties or any other “group watch” for major sporting events -- not because I was antisocial -- but because my enjoyment comes from watching the action unfold from Act I to Act II and rising up to the Conclusion and Climax of Act III without interruption.
While I do have loyalties to certain teams, my son marvels at the fact that I would rather see a close game, tournament, or match than sit through a blowout -- even if it’s a team I love.
Give me an underdog that rises to the challenge and I’m hooked -- whatever the sport.
As someone who has spent many years creating stories -- whether it's for television, online mini-doc, screenplay or stage play -- it makes perfect sense.
Act I offers a clear setup, conflict and expectation--game predictions, one-on-one matchups to watch, field condition to consider, how players perform under pressure. Individual story lines. Veterans versus rookies.
Act II provides second act complications -- possible injuries, momentum shifts, weather, fatigue, crowd impact.
Act III provides us with additional complication, a climax, and our conclusion.
Whether it’s set point, the two-minute warning, a playoff hole or bases loaded bottom of the ninth -- there’s a reason sporting events are riveting for spectators. They contain all the elements of a great story.
Sports matter. Because we can connect in community, don’t know the outcome, and ride the ups and downs like we're listening to a symphony for the first time.
And then, we get to talk about it the next day. And connect again.