For most of my life, I was not an avid sports fan. I attended very few football games as a music student at Northwestern University. I didn't actively dislike sports, but I found the experience of watching them less than engrossing. Clearly, I was missing something that the fanatics were seeing in the game.
But then I married a Northwestern alum who was also a huge sports fan. I began going to NU football and basketball games regularly.
I was surprised to discover the extent of the culture that had grown up around college sports. It seemed like a focus that everyone shared. When I wore my NU Wildcat gear around Evanston, strangers would comment, asking me if I had just been to a game, who won and what the score was. Or they might just raise their hands in the cat-growl sign as they drove by.