Saturday, January 27, 2007

Why Sports, Why???

Alright, so call me an overachiever, but this is a post that just had to be put up. Working today at a well-known wholesale discount juggernaut, I was asked the question as to why I like sports so much. Not exactly in those words, but "What's so great about sports, that you want your whole life to be centered around it?" Granted the person who asked the question did not graduate high school, and still enjoys prank phone calls to his own department, and lives in his parents basement while living his life through a computer game where he believes he is indeed a "dwarf." Nonetheless, that question, "Why sports?" got me thinking...
Why sports? After a long thought process, and reading a page out of my idol Mike Greenberg's novel Why My Wife Thinks I'm an Idiot, it all made sense to me.

-Some of my friends enjoy taking shots at a bar. I enjoy watching Michael Jordan taking shots...with 20 seconds on the clock, everybody in the world including the home Utah Jazz knew he was going to shoot the ball...they couldn't stop him, nobody could stop him. With 6 ticks left, drain a bucket with a defender in your face en route to your 6th NBA Championship. After all, he IS Michael Jordan.

-When some people talk about GREATNESS, they often talk about the feeling after finals. When I talk about GREATNESS it wears the number 99, owns 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, 6 All-Star records, won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers, and won 9 MVP awards and 10 scoring titles. He is the only player ever to total over 200 points in a season (a feat that he accomplished four times in his career). In addition, he tallied over 100 points a season for 15 NHL seasons, 13 of them consecutively. Still think you're great?

-Determination is something that can be used loosely, however when I think of myself as being determined, I immediately find myself thinking about Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. (AKA Joe Montana) and his determination against the New Orleans Saints. Down by 28 at the half, "Joe Cool" led his teammates to a 38-35 victory. A feat that still stands to this day. Let's not forget 1981 when Montana led San Francisco to a 13-3 record, the best in the NFL. In one of the most memorable games in 49ers history, he led the 49ers on an 11-play, 89-yard drive, ending with a dramatic touchdown pass to Dwight Clark, which came to be known as "The Catch," for a thrilling 28-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship game. Two weeks later Montana led the 49ers to a 26-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. Not to mention a Superbowl MVP.

You see with me, it's not an obsession with sports as much as it is a passion. Greenberg says in his book that:

Sports is like war without all the dying. Imagine how intriguing war would be as a spectator sport if, when it was over, everyone shook hands...The strategy, the passion, the courage, the stakes: war is magnificent theater until you count all the bodies."
-Mike Greenberg

I couldn't have put it any better. However, it's not
my job to be these men. I don't want to be them, I want to tell their story, I want to be that guy. The guy that makes them look them look great, instead of just good. Who made Michael Jordan "Michael Jordan?" The media, the producers who run his shot over and over. I want to be the guy that takes an athlete and creates a legacy. Who is to say that someone at ESPN isn't Michael Jordan's hero for making him a hundred-millionaire??

So by now you may ask the question of what my reply was to "
What's so great about sports, that you want your whole life to be centered around it?"



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