A Successful Career as a Sports Fan

Michael Burns
Men’s Zoom Circles

With retirement going full speed at age 75, my passion for watching and following sports is also at full speed. I have plenty of time, health, opportunities, and support from my wife Patty to follow, watch, and exercise daily. I’m sure I have been stronger and in better condition when younger, but my level of cycling and swimming is pretty darn strong right now.

Fortunately for me, Dad was a sports fan and participant in many sports when young, so my sports fan career began at the beginning of my cognitive awareness. ASAP, Dad introduced me to tennis, swimming, biking, baseball, football, boxing, basketball, horse racing, rodeo, bowling – really, all that was available to watch on TV and to play.

I’ve been paying attention to sports for over seven decades at various and fluctuating levels of attention, which often depends on how the local teams were faring. I’ve seen many generations of athletes rise and fall, team dynasties rise and fall, many historical, social, and technological moments and movements. And, from watching excellence, I have received inspiration for improving my own athletic skills. “The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.”

A bonus I got from developing expertise as a sports fan is that I can get by in most social setting, even with those people I have little or nothing in common. Even when there is little agreement on issues. I can get into engaging, knowledgeable conversations about sports!

I love the outdoors. I find that there are degrees of intimacy with the outdoors. Camping is my ultimate way to be in and appreciate nature without distractions.

I’d say in the last couple of decades, my biggest sports fan passion is to watch and follow Pro Road Cycling, and to ride my road bike. I am a devout morning person: early to bed, early to rise. I’m rarely in bed past 6 pm so I can get to my outdoor exercising before the “maddening crowds “ are clogging the streets. And sometimes I’m out of bed earlier to watch live streaming of my favorite sports that are being contested anywhere in the world. 

Streaming!! DVR!! Yea modern technology. And when I’m playing my sports fan “A” game, I pedal my indoor bike while watching the streaming … till the sun comes up, or the weather improves, and I can go out to ride or swim.

I’ve done little to no traveling since the pandemic, but watching the pro tour racing around the world, in high definition, with motorcycle shots, helicopter shots of some of the most awesome sights in the world, I get a lot of my travel needs met. That, in the comfort of my own home, with my own food, bathroom, bed, instant replay, etc.

My retirement job is to be a comfortable, fulfilled, fit – a healthy athletic sports fan.

I am doing my job successfully.


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