A Thank You To Sports: The Immeasurable Value of The Priceless

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIApril 21, 2009

Inspiration can be found everywhere. In every person, in any place, at any time. Yet sometimes in life, there might be a select few things for which we value to an extent that becomes immeasurable. For me, it's sports.

Growing up, I wouldn't exactly say that I had the easiest childhood, but then again, isn't that the life story we hear from everybody? Yet while growing up, I found an escape at such a young age that this discovery would grow into obsession which mutated into a therapy of sorts. While the hardships of real life often began to take their expected toll, there for me has always been another option.

During hard times that might otherwise make the average person crumble, I found an other place within the world of sports. You might call it a bit excessive, but I've always been the type of guy who couldn't get sports out of his head anyway.

If your taking the time to read this article, chances are you might have very well become stricken with the same addiction that has consumed me for years. That is not to say that it has overtaken the more important things in life. Rather, sports have provided a secondary outlet for which my mind could wander during any circumstance.

I suppose that I blur the line between obsession and sanity. I've always been one who's had a tendency to be overdramatic, so please take my words with a grain of salt. I'm not likely as crazy as I might appear to be.

I, like anyone else, live a normal life with family, friends, school, and work. It's not so much that my passion for sports interferes with any of the various necessities, although I will admit it does often play some sort of role within the landscape of each and every one of them.

I come from a family where each and every close relative has a favorite football team. Naturally, the passion we share is often expressed in our own unique individualistic fashions, which often leads to great discussions. Family BBQs have a tendency to morph into quarterback debates, but thus is the story of my life.

That same interest for sports remains fresh in college. You'd be hard-pressed to find a fellow student I go to college with who wasn't a bit consumed with the NCAA Tournament this March. Perhaps I was the odd man out, having always remained devoted to the football side of both college and professional sports.

Yet, while as much as the differentiation in athletic support can often create a rift between anyone, I've also been fortunate enough to be able to share the same passion I have for these sports with the people closest to me. It becomes a regularity for my fiance and my brothers to join me every Monday to watch Raw.

Which brings me to my original point. There is a great deal of gratitude owed on my behalf towards those who help contribute to making sports as enjoyable as they have become.

If it were not for these great athletes whom we admire so much, we wouldn't have a Bleacher Report for which to gossip.

We wouldn't have NCAA brackets to fill out and we wouldn't have a use for half of what eBay has to offer. We get so much in return from the athletes, coaches, and fellow fans that it often becomes easy to lose sight of how blessed we are to enjoy the privilege of what we're watching.

I might not be saying anything that we all don't already know, but while we all appreciate the sports for which we're most passionate about, it would be negligent in my view to not take a little bit of time every now and then to say thank you to everyone who makes it happen.

I thank every football player who buckles up his chin strap. I thank every professional wrestler who laces up their boots. I thank every referee who fights like hell to get even half of the calls right. I thank every television producer who thought it would be a good idea to broadcast the local ball game.

I thank every coach who motivates their players to be good role models both on and off the field. I thank each and every one of my loved ones who has taken the time to watch a game with me, every one of them who listens to me rant about the most random of football statistics.

I thank every teacher who takes the time to talk to their students about how sports used to be. I thank every equipment manager who makes sure that the gear their players are wearing is protective.

Heck, I thank every Bleacher Report member who has disagreed with me or taken the time to write a humor piece in the hopes that it would get under my skin. I thank every fellow sports fan who has helped create an informative and exciting sports conversation.

I especially thank Bleacher Report for giving those sports-obsessive individuals such as myself the venue in which to express our passion.

What more can be said? Two simple words could have summed up this entire article...

Thank You