Why isn’t the hockey puck pink?

By Regina Spachner

I admit from the start that I am not knowledgeable when it comes to sports; in fact, I know very little. I wouldn’t know if Pierre Thomas or E.B. Halsey was standing right next to me.

But, I can tell you all about Jessica Simpson’s cosmetic line and upcoming clothing line, the locations of most malls in the state of Illinois and who is on the cover of this month’s Cosmo. Let’s face it, sports is definitely not my area of expertise.

Yes, I was an athlete in high school, I’m about to start training (again) for the Chicago Marathon and I absolutely love going to Cubs games, but that’s basically where my interest subsides. I cannot state which baseball team currently holds the best record in the league (actually, the White Sox do … though I openly admit that I only know this because my friends are Sox fans and discuss this daily). Besides that, I cannot name the Bulls’ 2004-2005 starting lineup or the team that won the 2005 Super Bowl.

Does this make me a bad person? I think not.

Clearly I am aware that I’m not sports statistics savvy. I have never pretended to know this kind of stuff. It honestly doesn’t interest me at all.

However, I do know what is necessary to know about sports. My life last semester was spent as design editor for the DI. I confess that I was tempted to quit 75 out of the 78 days I was editor, but, because I didn’t, I spent a great amount of time with the DI sports department. In fact, I’ve learned everything that I’ll ever need to know about sports from some of my friends: the DI sports writers, columnists and editors.

My limited sports knowledge has gotten me through endless hours of sports discussions and debates with these people. I know I’m not the only one trying to survive the latest sports debate. I live through it on a daily basis. You can too. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. People really do sit and watch sport-related events, such as the NFL draft, for days on end without moving from the couch. Do not try to convince them to do otherwise because you’re never going to change their minds.

2. Sports can both make or break a person’s day. It’s in your best interest to celebrate with those who are happy and stay really far from those who are upset.

3. Sports can be the topic of conversation and debate for hours on end … unless someone interrupts to discuss her latest shopping trip, announces the release date of her favorite television series on DVD or displays her newest pair of pink running shoes.

4. Always be on the lookout for Nick Lachey when attending basketball games. You just may be inches away from the singer you religiously watch every Wednesday night on television.

5. You can spend 22 out of 72 hours at the bar both waiting for and watching Illini basketball without knowing the rules and terminology of the game, and still have an awesome and unforgettable time.

6. Sports are often at times very controversial topics. You must be extremely careful when bringing them up in conversation – unless you want to witness a very loud and intense discussion. I always try to stick away from this and keep my month shut.

7. Sports fans are very loyal to their respected team(s); however, if you’re lucky you may be able to broaden their views for just a day or two. Especially when you’re the page designer and you ‘accidentally’ run the Cubs’ story instead of the Sox one.

8. And lastly, sports have the ability to bring together a group of people that might not have otherwise met and create an infinite amount of good times and memories that can never and will never be forgotten.

This acquired knowledge of sports has influenced my life, despite the fact that I cannot call out Babe Ruth’s number or explain why the NHL players are locked out.

I may spend my time shopping and talking on the phone, rather than watching a game on ESPN Classic for the fifth time in two weeks and reading Sports Illustrated daily, but I have to admit that my time here at Illinois would not have been the same if it hadn’t been for sports … I can’t believe I just said that.