Why Do Sports Matter?

This is a question I’ve been asking of myself lately. I am a huge sports fan. College football and basketball. Professional tennis and golf. Any team wearing a Big Orange T has my full attention.

I don’t play sports. Never have. I remember taking tennis lessons at our neighborhood club as a teenager. Chasing the little ball around the sweltering court in the 90% humidity was not my idea of fun–especially when I could hear my friends in the pool just a few yards away. I also took golf lessons (I have a terrible slice), riding lessons (I never got a pony for Christmas), and guitar lessons (back in the day before Wii made guitar playing a competitive sport). Oh, and LOTS of swimming lessons. Swimming was ok–no sweating there. I even worked as a substitute life guard at our pool.

There have been a few standout athletes in my family. My father lettered in several sports in his high school days. My brother was a track star, held several state records and went to college on an athletic scholarship. And my niece swam her way into an athletic scholarship as well.

But here’s what I realized tonight. Sports can make everything better.

I had an absolutely shitty day at work today. (There’s just no other way to describe it.) It was the kind of day that makes you want to go to the nearest gas station and buy $5o worth of lottery tickets. Just in the hopes that you can come in tomorrow and say “I quit.” But instead of going to the gas station, I just came home and turned on the tv. The University of Tennessee women’s basketball team, the Lady Vols, were playing. What made this game special is that, if they won, it would be Coach Pat Summitt’s 1000th victory–the most in college basketball history, men’s or women’s.

As I watched, the bad day faded away. Little by little, my team pulled ahead. And when victory was inevitable, I felt like a winner myself. And I realized that sports take us away from the mundane work-a-day world and helps us all be winners–even if it is vicariously.

I can’t dribble. I certainly can’t shoot a layup. But tonight, a coach at my school has done something that no other college coach has done.

Good on you, Coach Summitt. And thanks for making a bad day a little better.

10 Comments

Filed under Sports

10 responses to “Why Do Sports Matter?

  1. No need to apologize for your language 🙂 With all the beautiful things you do with language I think you’re entitled to more than a few cuss words here and there. I, personally, am not a huge sports fanatic. My husband, on the other hand, really is. Thank you for giving me some perspective as to why a football game can mean the world to him.

  2. J9

    And once again I cried . . . while watching a sporting event . . . Geeze. But these weren’t tears of frustration, or disappointment — they were tears of happiness for Coach Summit’s 1000th win — and anyone who has cheered for the VOLs for even one of those games.

  3. Karen A

    Awesome win for Pat S and great summary by you of why sports matter. They DO- and I am constantly arguing on their behalf!

  4. Little Sister

    Good job!!! I hope Mother doesn’t read this, because she may think your siblings have a potty mouth also. I am happy about the lady vols making your day better!

  5. Mother

    I’ve given up on how people talk. Just dont do it around me!!!

    Darn and heck are perfectly adequate.

  6. Yeah, they can also make things worse though – like when you get beat by the damn Gators for the 900th time in 901 years. That makes things a lot worse – trust me.

  7. Oh, but good on Coach Summit. She’s a class act – especially for a Vol.

  8. Gwen–many thanks. I really appreciate the kind words.
    j9–I know…we’re such geeks.
    Karen–you’re an athlete–you know first-hand what it means to compete
    Lil Sis–I won’t tell Mother you cuss
    Mother–Little Sister never cusses
    Free Man–I forgot to mention who the Lady Vols beat…sorry to tell you that it was your Dawgs. And I feel your pain when it comes to the gators.

  9. Jen

    That’s one thing I really miss- playing sports. It always got me in shape without realizing it and made me feel so much better. If we could afford it, I’d love to join the YMCA or something and do some group sports.

    Maybe one day…

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