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Sports not all men's cup of tea

True confession: The NHL lockout hasn't really affected me. Then again, I'm not much of a sports guy. If you're a man, not being a sports guy can make things difficult. For one thing, it's hard to partake in sports-related conversations.

True confession: The NHL lockout hasn't really affected me. Then again, I'm not much of a sports guy.

If you're a man, not being a sports guy can make things difficult. For one thing, it's hard to partake in sports-related conversations.

Guy 1: Hey, how about those Canucks?

Guy 2: Yeah, I really like their chances this season.

That is, if there was no lockout.

Me: I enjoy watching the winsome antics of Honey Boo Boo.

Guy 1: Let us take our sports-related conversation into the sports bar.

See what I mean?

My father, my brother and I were not particularly into sports. My sister enjoyed sports - she was especially good at throwing the javelin. In Grade 8, I did join the basketball team but had a terrible time getting the ball into the hoop. Dribbling also posed a problem. I was mostly interested in my team uniform, which was slate grey and burgundy - to my mind a combo both dynamic and flattering.

Our daughter participated in sports. She was on a basketball team. I once boasted about this to a sports reporter, but made the mistake of referring to her "rehearsal" instead of "practice." So any "points" I might have scored there vanished amid gales of laughter.

Another fellow at the newspaper once asked me where I was when Paul Henderson scored the historic winning goal in the 1972 Canada-Soviet Summit Series.

"Probably at home," I said, "practising my alto saxophone."

Happily, there is another

reporter at the newspaper who is also a non-sports guy. To protect the identity of this person, I'll call him Mr. X, although his name is Michael D. Reid. Mr. X once phoned up Telus to cancel all the sport channels in his cable package and replace them with movie channels. His wife, a sports buff, only discovered the switch when she was trying to watch the Olympics.

She was not pleased. Mr. X also told me he makes sure his trips to Costco coincide with televised hockey games. This ensures the aisles aren't too crowded.

Both Mr. X and I are happily married, by the way.

(No, not to each other. To some ladies.)

If you think about it, much of North American culture caters to sports lovers. There are stores devoted to selling sports jerseys and caps. There are sports pools and sports teams at work. During playoffs, people drive around with little sports flags attached to their vehicles.

And there is, of course, the ubiquitous sports bar.

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But let me tell you, if you're not into sports, the sports bar is about as alluring as those stores that sell only cupcakes. To my mind, the cupcake store is the most useless kind of business. You might as well have a store that sells only pencil erasers or Q-Tips. How many people think, Man, I really have a hankering for a cupcake. How can I satiate this overwhelming urge? Gadzooks, is there a cupcake store in the vicinity?

Why don't they have arts and culture bars as well as sports bars? On the flat-screen TV, they could have a continuous loop of Renata Tebaldi singing O Mio Bab-bino Caro, or Balanchine's Apollo as performed by the English National Ballet.

Patrons could belly up and order a double Les Fleurs du Mal and then play the Guess the Shakespeare Quote Trivia Game. The latter could be connected to a meat draw or something.

That would be a bar I could really get behind. Not being much of a sports guy or anything.

achamberlain@timescolonist.com