What does the word "sports" mean to you?
It's a simple question.
And yet the answer could be as complex as a puzzle.
Still, the answer could be just as easy as the question at hand.
There may be some of you here that think back to your days of playing touch football in the street, or an empty field near your house. It was just a few of you and the neighborhood kids throwing around the pigskin. Only instead of the pigskin it was that rubber football with the rubber laces. Some of those laces may have even been missing from the amount of abuse the ball took on the pavement.
For others, it may include moments with a loved one, a trip to a ballpark, a seat on the couch every Sunday, or every evening, when your favorite team took the field.
A handful of you may think back to your playing days in Pop Warner, Little League or recreation.
Going beyond that, you may think of those high-school memories or those moments in college where you found glory. Somewhere, Bruce Springsteen is blaring through the speakers.
For those that didn't play and were still a part of the team or who enjoyed watching, your memories are shaped differently. But that is not to take away from the fact that you were there. You were watching. You were a part of it all.
It is often overheard that "this is what is wrong with the game today...". And you will overhear someone spewing to you reasons as to why the sport you have grown to love or appreciate is now suddenly bad.
While there is a certain saying regarding opinions, there really shouldn't be someone telling you what you feel is right or wrong. Or what is good or bad.
People across the nation will say that the athletes of today are overpaid and undeserving of all they are given. You try saying no to all of those zeros. It is easy to critique when we aren't in that situation.
And that is another reason to love sports—endless debate when opinions will always vary.
Are the Giants the best team in the NFL? Are the Yankees bad for baseball? Should steroids be legal? Is Barry Bonds the true home run king? Should the NFL season be shortened? Should there be a college football playoff?
So, really, what does the word "sports" mean to you? It truly is a simple question.
Does the word "competition" come to mind? Are your lifelong friends the same people who you lined up against on the field?
Or are sports a way to watch your children on the field and see their smiles brighten up your day.
Better yet, are sports a way for you to escape?
There have been times in my life, and I'm sure yours, that sports have been the key reason to why I have been able to overcome, to make progress, and to forget.
Albeit for just a few hours or even minutes, sports are a form of medicine. Only you can't overdose on them.
What does Reggie Jackson's three homers in 1977 make you think about?
Where were you when Jordan hit the jumper over Ehlo in 1989? What about "The Catch" in 1982?
For those of you not alive then, where were you when Jordan gave Bryon Russell a little push to win the 1998 NBA Finals? What about the "Tuck Rule"?
Sports are something different for everyone.
So, I again ask you. What does the word "sports" mean to you? Because this is one question that doesn't have a right or wrong answer.
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