I was lucky enough to be too young to grow up a bitter Boston sports fan, but just old enough to appreciate the value and magnanimity of watching my hometown teams rise to the top. I've always been a bigger fan of "the game" itself as opposed to blindly supporting specific teams. My least favorite saying is probably "it's just a game," because, frankly, that's just a horribly misguided cliché those outside of the world of sports use to discredit the work of those within it. I write because I want to correct that terrible misconception. Sports are "just games" like parents are "just people you lived with for a while." Sports are an undeniable, irreplaceable part of our culture, not simply for the entertainment they have come to provide, but because of everything else they create -- the conversation, the debate, the controversy, the tears, the laughter. My father didn't wake me up to tell me who the new president of our nation was, but he did so I could see thousands of bulbs flash when McGwire hit #62.