Ryan’s lack of understanding of all things sport related is legendary. It is one of the foundations upon which this comic was built.

As far as Mike’s apathy goes, that is also a thing. I don’t have a link for that. You’ll just have to go read through the archive to see for yourself.

Anyway, in this case his apathy aligns with my own. It’s not that I don’t understand the human obsession with watching sporting events and feeling a vested interest in the outcome. I understand it all too well.

At one time I considered myself a fan of the New York Yankees, Giants, Rangers, and to a lesser extent the Knicks. Notably, these are all teams from my home state. My father was a Yankees fan. His father was a Yankees fan. His father was a grocer. It was inherited. You sit there for several hours, watch and stress over whether or not the closer is going to get those last three outs and lead “your” team to victory.

But why do we care about the success or failure of a dozen or so people whom we have never met? I think we enjoy rooting for a specific winner in any competition regardless of the arena or how we choose them. Hundreds of millions of people around the country watch the Super Bowl, and yet the teams only represent two cities. I do enjoy the strategy of the game, but there is more to its immense popularity than that, or even the parties and booze. Neither of those require a sporting event or even any occasion.

Even on Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have a tendency to sit around the television, make conjecture, and shout about games going on in a myriad of cities to which we have minimal tangible connection. Worse, it’s irritatingly interfering with the general spirit of the holidays. That is getting presents and eating a metric ton of food, obviously.

I would theorize that if you took an animal rights activist (or any decent human being), chained them to a chair and forced them to watch a dog fight, they would still pick a dog to root for. Despite all disgust and outrage, human beings are still competitive, and that stupid fluffy dog is going down.