Tuesday

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ultimate

If you’re like me and enjoy sports but only marginally like baseball, you might want to get a Roku and check out some of the lesser-known sports. ESPN3 shows a lot of great stuff: cricket, Arena Football, lacrosse, and ultimate frisbee. I only watch on Saturday nights when I’m winding down the week and occasionally on Friday nights when I’m winding down my drinking, but I’ve seen enough to endorse these off-beat sports.

Of these, Arena Football is probably my favorite, unless ESPN is doing a bad camera job (which happens; these productions are pretty low-budget). I attended a handful of Arena Football games, back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the Detroit Drive dominated the league. Those games were a lot of fun to watch, so watching today’s Arena Football brings back some of those memories.

I’ve enjoyed watching cricket enough to consider learning the rules. Granted, I’ve watched a total of 15 minutes of cricket this summer, but that’s a lot for me (I can’t get through an NFL football game without multi-tasking or turning it off in the late second quarter and doing something else during half-time and the early third quarter . . . unless I’m drinking). Based on what I’ve seen, I’d probably be better off not trying to analogize to baseball. I think it’ll just confuse me.

I really like lacrosse in person, but the television coverage isn’t very good. The camera is too far away from the ball. You can’t really tell what’s going on. I used to attend Detroit Turbos games, of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League. Those games were great to watch: Small arena (Joe Louis, where the Drive played), fast action. I thought I’d like lacrosse on TV, but I simply don’t. You might.

Finally, there’s ultimate frisbee. I love to throw around the frisbee with the kids. It’s good casual caveman exercise, so I can partially appreciate what these players are doing. And when you see an insane catched like this, it tells me this is a sport that, though it’ll never “catch” on big time, deserves more coverage.

I think Fr. Schall would endorse these lesser sports. He was a big proponent of the idea that, when we do something for its own sake, we are doing something good. When you watch a sport, especially these lesser sports when absolutely nothing important (monetarily) is on the line, you’re flirting with the act of contemplation, albeit at the lowest and basest level.