Boo-hoo. I never turned the TV on during the game. I watch negligible TV anyway. I had a pretty good idea the Pats lost before I saw it on the newspapers walking in to work this morning. You see, I live in Cow Hampshire. I recall the last time the Pats won I heard a lot of fireworks and firearms. I think the ratio of guns to people in our state is about 2:1. Nothing wrong with that. Ratio is actually more like 3:1 in my household. But last night was silent. Dead silent. That could have meant only one thing. They lost.
It's no secret I have never been a fan of spectator sports. Perhaps never seeing a major league/NFL/NHL/NBA game as a child has something to do with it. I really don't even follow pro cycling that closely, despite having an obsessive passion for cycling in all flavors. Sure, I have been to a couple pro MTB races. Even watched Lance duke it out with Tinker a few weeks after Lance won his first tour. But I wasn't there just to watch the pros. I also raced on the same course. Cycling is a participatory sport for me.
US cycling in general is a participatory sport. Some of the bigger tours, such as Georgia and California are starting to draw crowds, but for the most part, competitive cycling is for the athlete, not spectator. How many football fans play real football regularly? I bet many would get badly hurt trying. Cycling is different. We do, not watch. Even if the grand tours ceased to be, US cycling would change little.
Some would measure the success of cycling events by the size of spectator crowds. I think if cycling became highly commercialized, it would lose much of its appeal to me. I see successful cycling events as ones that fill fields quickly, like Mt Washington (all 600 spots in 20 minutes last year) or the insanely popular Battenkill (most fields filled in a few days last month).
I bring this up because so many colleagues want to talk about "the game," and I just have to give them a blank look in return. After a while, they catch on. Now if you want to talk about how the last race we were in together played out, or about the cool ride from a recent trip, then we can exchange some lively discussion.