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How I Got Into Sports

By Aaron Tanner

· Sports,Football,Maps,Geography,Aspergers

One of the characteristic features of someone with Aspergers is a lack of interest in sports. Growing up in football-crazy Alabama, I did not understand why many of my peers were into sports, and I was not. I think the problem was I did not understand what was so great about watching games.

When I was eighteen, some co-workers at the fast-food restaurant I worked at would have NFL games on in the break room. One of the things I noticed about the games on TV is that other games were going on at the same time as the game I was watching.

I was a geography nerd, not a sports fan. However, at that moment, I was able to connect football with my love of maps. I realized that not all places receive the same game, but instead, different television markets receive different NFL games on Sunday afternoons during football season.

The reason different cities can show different games on the same network due to different satellite feeds that send different games to different locations. For example, my local channel in Alabama might show the Atlanta Falcons at the New Orleans Saints game at Noon on Sunday. At the same time, markets in Illinois and Missouri instead air the Chicago Bears at the Kansas City Chiefs on the same network.

Eventually, I found a website called the506.com where someone takes the listings for every NFL game from every television market on Sunday afternoon and uses Geographic Information Software to break down every game in the United States by geographic distribution on Google Maps. Now I’m on their message board frequently where other members and I discuss why specific television markets got one game over another.

One thing that many people with Aspergers are good at is with statistics. The great thing about sports is that it is full of statistics, such as the number of earned runs in baseball or the percentage of free throws by a team in basketball.

Although I never had the motor skills to compete in any sport during school, having an interest in sports has helped me in having friendships with other people. I find that a lot of people I run into are eager to discuss how college football games went the prior Saturday in the Southeastern Conference.

For those who are interested in watching sports, I want to hear how you got involved in this pastime by commenting in the section below. Also, be sure to check out my other blog on the Tennessee Valley Unite page.

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