Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why Sports Are Awesome

My whole adolescence , my mom told me that I spent too much time reading scores, listening to games, watching highlights, breaking down my own play after a bad loss. I ignored most of that and was determined for sports to play a major role in my life, not just socially and personally, but professionally. I've been blessed to not only find a job in the industry, but be able to stay in it through teams folding and getting laid off. I love my job as much as anyone I know and it's wonderful to know that when I'm having a bad day, it's not like anything life-or-death is on the line. If I mess up tomorrow, a hundred less fans might make it to an event, or five less newspapers will write a story before the race. If a doctor has a bad day, people die. I'm thankful that I don't have that weight on my shoulders.

On the other hand, there is something about sports that is so big, so incredible that brings people from all neighborhoods, races, income levels, countries, etc. together. I tried to find a clip of a scene from Major League to post at the top of this post to no avail. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about: the end of the movie when they show the inside of a bar and this Boy George looking clown hugs the rough and tough biker. It's a small part of a great movie, but it hits home with what I'm trying to get across. I've been at games where I high five, hug and kiss people I don't even know. That's the power that sports have over our culture. It's a thing of beauty to see the wide range of people that pull for the same team as you do. Maybe I'm a little spoiled in that I root for the Yankees, so there are a million different kinds of people who do too, but I've seen a pretty good cornucopia of fans at smaller venues for less significant teams.

Not only do they bring a wide range of people together, sports can make you feel an emotion you didn't know existed. I forgot how amazing it feels to root for a team that won a championship when the Yankees took it home this October, err November. I also didn't know how awful it could feel to be soooo close to a 'ship and have it ripped away from you until I was in the Verizon Center to see Miami piss away a two-goal lead vs. Boston U. with a minute to go in the Frozen Four championship game.

There's something about the woman that is fanhood and sports that wraps us around her finger. No guy in his right mind would continue to date a girl that doesn't give anything to the relationship (2000s Detroit Lions) or continues to tease you before breaking your heart (1990s Buffalo Bills). However, with sports, we continue to invest loads of time, emotion, money and effort to be with a team. Why do we do this? To feel a connection to something bigger than us. To be able to say 'we' won a game, a division title, a championship. To have something to talk about in the dentist's office waiting room, the airport terminal, the holiday party.

Anyone who follows sports has someone they love and someone they hate. Polarizing teams, players and cities give us things to identify with and things to join our friends in hating on. It's not always easy to find people in our day-to-day lives that are polarizing, but sports provides us with that, and it's yet another reason why sports are awesome.


LeBron to NYC Update

The forecasting team at MITM has downgraded the chance that the potential savior of NYC basketball, LeBron James, will come to the Knicks from 38% to 33%. This is due to the Cavs winning a ton over the last month, the Celtics faltering and the Knicks looking like they won't move another contract before the February 18 trade deadline. The chance the Knickerbockers will sign a major free agent (as defined here) is static at 99%. That is all for now.

Links for the day
10 Worst Weather Cities in America, all in the Midwest....sweet!
Google Buzz review
Rex Ryan is gross, sorry Bobby Cans

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