Saturday, March 1

*This post was inspired by the Pater's post on competitiveness.

There is something timelessly beautiful about the early fall in the south. It is my favorite time of year. The sweltering heat abates, the tourists go home and the gardens are still blooming. It's the time of year your 20 min bike ride home from work takes over and hour as you meander through your neighborhood. It's the time of year you blow off studying to go play football with your friends in the park. That's where it gets tricky.
There are, in my humble experience, two types of park football players: the ones who play for fun and the ones who play to win. The ones who play for fun may or may not actually play a whole game. They may or may not change which tree is the end zone (because they can't remember) or where the sidelines are. They are much more likely to end up in a pile laughing until their sides are splitting and quitting the field in search of pizza and beer.
Winners will have the field marked off (possibly with chalk) and won't forget. Winners will have some way of keeping time and score. Winners will walk off the field sore and either elated or defeated as they go in search of pizza and beer.
Both of these types enjoy themselves, they're having fun. If there was an objective way to measure it, I'd say that they're having the same amount of fun. The point of the game for these two groups is completely different. Funners just want to hang out, catch up with friends and maybe run around a little. Most of their time is spent talking, even while they're playing. Winners are there to achieve a goal, personal or team. They still share camaraderie, but the focus is on the game and not the social aspect.
I've played with both, a bonus of living within walking distance of a major park in Chucktown. I loved playing with both, depending on my mood (and how my knee was feeling). As long as they don't play together everything is fine. Funners get confused and hurt when Winners don't want to play and Winners get frustrated and annoyed that Funners didn't come to play. There are so many ways you can use that word.
Personally, the better I am at something the less competitive I am about it. I can have a great time with the pressure on or off and either winning or losing as long as the rest of the group is having fun as well. When people get pissy or frustrated it's time to walk away.

So, minions, what kind of 'player' are you?


The CEO said...

I'm pretty competitive, but I don't play sports anymore. If I did, I'd go along with the crowd. That's how you have fun.

WNG said...

I think people define words like fun and competitive in vastly different ways. It's interesting. In this, as in many things, my moods play a huge part. Sometimes I feel like kicking ass and taking names and sometimes I feel like seeing if I can throw a touchdown pass from between my legs or while running in a zig zag :)

NoRegrets said...

I'm pretty rules-oriented, and competitive too, so I tend to want to play for real. But yet, I still want to have fun, so if someone's being a jerk, I wouldn't like that. I try not to be the jerk.

Jay said...

I'm pretty competitive but can't stand people who want to turn a pick-up basketball game into the Olympics or something. Back in the day I would go and play basketball at the HPER Building when I was at the UofA.

I always found that the better the players the more fun everyone was having just running and shooting and stuff. The guys who really couldn't play that well would get really competitive and yell at other players.

When that happens I usually really bare down and try to beat somebody badly. I remember one day one of the older guys that would come down there screamed at me and my roommate to "play harder" and "block out on rebounds." Then after the game was over he wanted on a different team.

Of course once he was on the other team we started playing hard and we whipped them.

So, for the most part I'm just a funner until somebody pisses me off then I lay into them. Unless we're playing a game I suck at then I just "Hey, I suck at this game." ;-)

His Sinfulness said...

I suppose I'm a "Winner" by your definition, but I've never yelled at other players, on my team or otherwise. I realize that I have no control over the actions of others; I play to the best of my ability all the time, and I hope it motivates others to do the same.

I have been known to yell at officials, however. Particularly when they don't actually know the rules of the game they are supposed to be running. That will piss me RIGHT OFF. I am the guy who will pull out the rulebook and cite it to the ref by chapter and verse when they are wrong...

Inarticulate Fumblings said...

I'm the kind of "player" that sits on the sidelines drinking a beer, and ogles the hot boys, trying to figure out how they can care so much about a damn ball.

meno said...

I would only play football so that cute men could touch me.

Guess that makes me a funner.

WNG said...

NoR - I'm never a jerk...unless it's on purpose :)
Jay - in pick up games it always seems like it's the crap player who won't just relax.
Pater- I think you're some strange hybrid...
Fumblings- Because they have no taste, obviously...or they're not worthy:)
Meno - Why settle for cute? I say go for gorgeous with great legs.