This I Believe

Ryan - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports

I believe that sports are essential to my life. Without sports I’d be lost. Without sports I wouldn’t have an identity. Without sports, I’d be… normal. I believe in everything that sports can do to a person. I love the passion it can instill. I love the discipline it can teach. I love the camaraderie it creates. I even love the pain it brings.

I believe in the fan. I will watch any sport under the sun. I believe in living and dying with your team, even though you maybe doing more dying than living. I believe that my hat is my flag. That my flag is my allegiance; and that wearing my flag is just as important after a loss than after a win. I believe in staying up to watch overtime. I believe in skipping class to watch opening day. I believe in having a bracket stuck in my back pocket thru all of March. I believe in catching the 12:00PM, 6:00PM, 11:00PM, and the 1:00AM SportsCenters. I believe in 110,000 strong. Never will I forget that night in October against Ohio State. Never will I forget that 4th down conversion against Northwestern. Never will I forget all those oranges…

I believe that playing is therapy. I need it like people need their coffee in the morning. I need to be out there, playing. I can play any sport out there. I believe in the perfect set. I believe in the backhand down the line. I believe in the fadeaway jumper. I believe in the perfect spiral. I believe in the perfect drive. I believe that the smell of a new can of tennis balls is euphoria. I believe in the feel of my mitt. I believe in sacrificing my body. I believe in getting bloody. I believe that to be out there is to be alive.

I believe in all the clichés. I believe in the love of the game. I believe in giving 110%. I believe that you COULD. GO. ALL. THE. WAY. I believe in bringing my ‘A’ game. I believe that a ‘W’ means more than anything. I believe in monkeys on backs. I believe in the underdog. Most importantly, I believe in leaving it all out there. I didn’t quite know what that meant until a few weeks ago. In the deciding game of a best of three series in the playoffs of Intramural Volleyball, my team was against the ropes. On the brink of elimination, I called timeout. I gathered my team. I couldn’t ask them for more. We played with everything we had. All I could do was look at them; tell them that we’ve done it before, and that we could do it again. We made a run that would eventually fall short. As that last point hit the floor, I fell along with it. I sat there, battered, bruised, and already sore. I sat there, dripping sweat onto the hardwood floor. And in that moment… I was happy.