I was never a big sports guy, but recently I've noticed that I really enjoy watching sports and now I relish every opportunity to play baseball with my little siblings or a game of pick up at the college gym. My problem is when it comes to professional sports, I really don't know a lot about it. I can't really keep up with the watercooler talk about pro sports. I guess my question is what are some ways I can learn more about sports and keep up with them?
As far as baseball goes, try out this book. It is a great read whether you are new to baseball or a die-hard fan. Watching Baseball Smarter
Just turn on sports talk radio or watch SportsCenter or ESPNNews a few times week. You'll pick it up quick enough.
To be honest, most of my sports updates I get from "Mike & Mike in the Morning" on ESPN Radio.
Take a class at a local college or tech school. I took a coaching and refereeing class in college and even though I had followed football for years, it opened up so much more of the game. I realized that I really didn't know much at all. Once you walk through the rule books, learn offensive and defensive schemes, and actually try to call live action yourselves, you realize how hard it is and it gives you a great appreciation for the game.
The down side is that you realize the people talking at the water cooler really don't know much more than what's regurgitated on ESPN and quite often complain about plays that were actually called correctly.
I'm a huge baseball fan (San Francisco Giants). I would suggest you participate in sports forums (google prosportsdaily; they have a good forum), follow the teams on twitter/facebook/whatever social media you like, and watch the games as much as possible. Before you know it, you'll be standing around complaining about your teams mediocre OBP and downright awful starting pitching WHIP. ;)
I would also suggest you learn the history of your favorite team. Wikipedia is a great source for this. You can learn about your team's great players, championships, great moments, etc. It's a good primer. Like any new hobby you take on, start small and move out from there.
I was like you and didn't follow sports for most of my high school/tech school years... shortly after I got really into hockey and learned mostly from watching games as much as I could, then reading about it on the teams blog sites...Its a great obsession....