IDEA #42. Read from cover to cover a magazine about a sport you don’t know anything about.
Magazines about specific sports abound, and the chances of finding one in a library—or at a bookstore—are great; consider just the number of magazines devoted to sailing, or automobile racing, or mountain biking, or surfing.
Like any publication about whose subject one knows little, sporting magazines at first seem to be written in some alien language. The visual images may be accessible, but the nouns and verbs refer to unknown activities and obscure performers. It is often the advertisements that provide the first keys to understanding, a reference here illuminating the gist of an article there. In time one begins to understand some of the key values of the sport as well as some of the issues of the moment, and a careful reading can be enough to make even a complete novice feel at least a bit like a real fan, although a few sports—like cricket—are so esoteric in their nomenclature and terminology that they defy easy comprehension just from reading.
It should be noted that some cable television plans include access to channels devoted to rarefied or uniquely cultural sports; an afternoon watching (for example) rugby, windsurfing, or some form of equestrian sport can be pretty engaging, as well.
Perhaps the magazine will inspire further investigation, even a trip to an event (see IDEA #33). No doubt there are surfers from Iowa who first learned about the sport from a magazine, and their example should not be taken lightly.