Have you ever seen a man repeatedly plunge his entire condom coated arm up a cow’s vagina? I have. I’ve seen that. I’ve seen that on multiple occasions, twice, to be exact. The first time I was riding a horse with a broken saddle floating back and forth in awkward circles whistling the cows into a tiny hole where they’d line up waiting for treatment. Then the vet would dive deep into their bodies with an ultrasound camera, and he’d make sure the calves were looking like normal fetal calves. The second time I was in a stable with the vet whose name I could never pronounce, Victor, who smoked Pall Malls and could make a horse stand on two legs, and his two little kids. Once the vet had found the unborn calf’s feet, Victor tied them up to rope, which was attached to a crank. Victor pumped the lever a couple times and out came the calf with her mother screaming something in a dialect of cow that I didn’t understand. And you know what? I loved it.
The thing is, I’m from central Jersey. Like the part of central Jersey that’s ten minutes from I-95, Route 1, New York, Philly, DC, and about 20 minutes from Boston. As far as I know, every highway (or freeway? I don’t speak Californianese) runs through central Jersey. I don’t know anything about cows or pregnant cows or calves or ultrasounds. I don’t know anything about farms. I don’t know anything about levers and cranks. I know nothing about anything. So there’s that.
But here’s the thing, knowing nothing about anything… it’s kind of nice. I loved watching that vet and Victor birth that creepy looking sack of calf. I soaked up every second of it. I learned everything I could possibly learn in that 15 second period about what it looks like to birth a very small cow. And that was the best part. You know what this has to do with sports? Nothing. And everything.
I know nothing about sports. I didn’t play sports, unless you count three years of JV high school lacrosse. I hated lacrosse, so please don’t count that. But I love sports. Even more than I loved watching that vet do his duty. I love competition (especially when others are competing). I even love the ridiculously cliché claim that sports are a microcosm of life… because they are. I love blindly following the Redskins even though I hate Dan Snyder, and Jay Gruden annoys me, and RGIII’s body makes me cry, and we still have a slur for a nickname. I love that I’m going to watch the Wizards lose in the second round for the next 6 years (don’t even think the name of that guy that wears #35 and won MVP and plays basketball for a living in a Midwestern state sitting eerily between Kansas and Texas. Don’t!) I love arguing about sports, and incessantly reading statistics that I don’t understand, and feeling every irregular heartbeat that’s still racing at 3 in the morning after some game has thrown me into a different gear. I love all the things that sports bring to my life, even the misery. And now I’m here to bring that to you. So, yeah.