This I Believe

Louise - Spokane, Washington
Entered on October 23, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: pleasure, sports

I believe in sports! No not playing sports but watching sports. Don’t get me wrong I am not a soccer Mom. I would have liked to have been a soccer Mom but my children wouldn’t cooperate. They just didn’t like soccer and frankly they weren’t very good at any way. No, I am talking about watching baseball, basketball, football maybe even golf, whatever is in season and compelling because it is “my” team or an important game.

I believe sports provide endless entertainment, conversation and most importantly distraction in an increasingly complex and depressing world. How many awkward business or social conversations have been saved by a “how about those Yankees.” How many times has the family dinner conversation that is getting dangerously close to a political argument been redirected to the upcoming big game or the disastrous loss the previous week. Sure we can argue about sports too. But it is almost always good-natured and only those of us who are truly obsessed would take a knock against our team personally.

Last spring my oldest son was seriously injured in a skiing accident. It was right during that dreadful sports lull when March madness is over and before baseball is out of spring training. I spent a week at the hospital with nothing to distract me, no teams to cheer on or interesting sports pages to read. Shortly thereafter we moved to a rehab hospital in Denver. The Rockies were terrible. They came out of the gate slow and then got worse. But we didn’t care there was a game to watch almost everyday. We slowly learned the players’ names and chuckled at the locals who were so embarrassed by their team.

We even went to a game. We had wonderful handicapped accessible seats and loved every minute of the experience. Coors field is a great baseball stadium and who wouldn’t have fun in the festive, circus like atmosphere of a baseball game. I can’t remember who the Rockies played though I was slightly embarrassed when I read the summary of the game the next day and didn’t realize an opposing player had hit for the cycle. We were too busy enjoying the entire experience to actually pay attention to the game.

I believe sports helped me get through a tough time in my life. It gave me something to look forward to and distracted me from my challenging reality. Sure it’s “only a game” but isn’t that the beauty of it. I am not truly depressed when my team loses but I can be truly happy, even if it’s just for a few minutes, when my team hits the walk off home run, sneaks into the sweet sixteen as an underdog or wins the game with a flea-flicker in the final seconds. And even if my team fades away this year there is always hope for next year. And hope is all I really need to face the challenges of our increasingly complex and depressing world.