Recently, Mr. Curtis asked me when I’d become obsessed with football. It was Sunday. Tiger Woods was playing and had a chance to stage a come-from-behind-win in some tournament held in a gorgeous, windy, sunny place. Mr. Curtis wanted possession of the remote and the big screen. Currently, I was in possession of both and was watching the NFL Red Zone.
I must admit, I’ve never followed professional sports teams other than the sound-bites needed to converse with any sports-fanatic I knew. There was just too much to do around the house and always a good book to read.
But a few years ago, things changed. My step-mother passed, and my father began to spend significant time at our house. He’s an avid fan of Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the Women’s National Basketball Association. I found it necessary to have more talking points about sports.
It started innocently enough with Inside the NFL (on Showtime). This band of merry men talked football gossip, explained why all men seemed to be talking about the play of the week, and set up a fun rivalry for their weekly picks. It was like Entertainment Tonight with more testosterone.
Soon, when Mr. Curtis flicked past a game between two flyover state teams that Californians normally don’t care about, I was asking him to stop so I could see if the rookie wide receiver was going to overcome his jitters and last week’s public set-down by the veteran quarterback. Drama. Sheer drama, fans.
The NFL has done what other professional sports have been unable to do – make all those players and coaches real to me. As an author, that’s exactly what I try to do in my books – make everyone real and have a good time doing it. You don’t need a pageful of backstory. You don’t need to explain the town’s pedigree in detail. You just need to drop interesting tidbits in between the action to hook someone.
What’s your “obsession” and how does it relate to writing?