Last night in a dining hall in my dorm building, I was talking with a group of friends about the upcoming NFL season, each of us throwing verbal jabs at one another and making our wildest prognostications at what may unfold over these next four months. Suddenly a passer-by stops at our table, gives us each a long look and asks, "Why is it that some people talk about sports all the time...I mean it is just a game, it's not like it actually has any sort of meaning." Initially dismissing her snide remark, I found myself coming back to the question when I should have been diving deep into my sociology book. I began looking deep inside myself, getting that crazy existential feeling that "Wow, I've committed so much of my time, attention, and passion to something that has no sort of measurable contribution to society, a kid's game." Right there I had to stop to myself, and the thoughts started to flow, my mind returning to it's proper state without delusional thoughts clouding my better judgement.
Why is it that we follow sports? Sports are an escape, a place where you can return to that proverbial inner child, getting away from convoluted politics, money issues, and other aspects of life that are deemed meaningful by the overly-skeptical. Sports are fair: you've either got it or you don't. Where else can you say that in life? Sports do have meaning, even to the point where they can dictate our mood. How many of us can attest to feeling off for a whole week after our NFL teams lose, only to be able to gain redemption the following Sunday. Building on that, sports are a sanctuary for hope, where wait 'til next year and we'll get them tomorrow come alive. Sports are where people come together and provide an outlet for people to come alive. As they are for me and for many who visit this sight daily, let's never lose track of that. While some dismiss our passion, we will always know that, yes, this truth as self-evident: the grand athletic stage does indeed matter.
This is my first article, so I figured this would be a good way to start things off, as a way to explain why I love what I do.