Best of the Best: Part V – Sports, Where Would We Be Without You?

I signed on to this website today to begin my usual rant on what’s wrong in the world of sports when I watched the video Hosea posted yesterday.

Then it occurred to me. Could you imagine a world without sports?

It seems trivial and silly, but honestly, could you imagine a world without sports? God forbid the day should actually come when sports no longer exists.

When I watched this video, I began to think about how sports defines who we are as people. Sure, most of us were not gifted with the same skill set that pro athletes are, but I thought of how sports affects our lives.

Remembering 9/11

After the attacks of 9/11, it was baseball that took America on its shoulders and provided an uplifting emotion, passion and simplicity back into life. We all saw the images on television of players, coaches and spectators that were seen crying in those first few days when baseball came back following the attacks and we could understand that in the face of a life-altering event, this game of baseball was there to offer a release.

Every fan of the game could connect with every player in the game because of the tragedy of 9/11, but we could all connect with the emotion and the raw passion of a home-run, a great play in the outfield or a bottom-of-the-ninth strikeout to save a victory when the game was close and so much was at stake. With every fist pump, with every controversial call and with every hot-dog consumed in the crowd, the game of baseball lifted people from this tragedy and brought North America back.

If sports, and in this case, baseball didn’t exist, could the people of North America have found anymore common ground other than grief to rally from? Probably not.

Take the Boston Red Sox’s two World Series victories in the last four years. People have been quoted as saying that they wish their family members could have lived to see the Red Sox win a championship, something that seemed impossible until 2004 when ‘The Curse of the Bambino’ was officially lifted.

Canada celebrate hockey

For most Canadians, we take hockey as our national sport. After all, this country has produced majority of the NHL players in the game, both past and present, and we pride ourselves on being the best. Our pride as a hockey nation is always at stake when we play in international competitions.

When Team Canada won at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, city streets were aligned with the Canadian colours and young and old and people of all different ethnic backgrounds and cultures were seen celebrating together because they were all brought together by Canada being the best at what it is the best at.

Chants of “Go Canada Go” echoed everywhere and it was an inspiring sight to see just how this game and all the emotion that comes from it just sweeps people up. When Canada wins, or the Canucks or even the Leafs, people that have that team or country in common come together to celebrate. If hockey didn’t exist, what would Canada be? What would Canada be without the rivalry of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens? A cold, snow-covered land with barely any common ground.

Then we have the athletes themselves. Doesn’t matter what level of sport, be it a pro athlete, a junior hockey player, a peewee football player, it doesn’t matter.

Sports is a way of life that has so much passion, no matter what the sport. We feed off the emotions, the talent, the desire to win and the attitude.

Tiger Woods Fans

Tiger Woods is a great example of this. The man is the best athlete in the world and every tournament he goes to, thousands and thousands of fans will follow and will get just as excited as he does when he makes a big shot on his way to victory at a major championship. We will sigh and curse and get frustrated just like he does when he fails.

As humans, we are emotional, but when we see people we idolize, we feel their emotions and sports is great for that. When someone gives a fist pump or hangs their head in defeat, thousands more of us do so as well.

We cherish these athletes and we marvel at the trophies, medals and awards because they represent being the masters of courage, passion, talent, years of failure and dedication to one day shed that failure.

After all the years of failure, defeat, tragedy, blood, sweat, tears and every other form of adversity, we could hold that belt, that trophy or that medal high above our heads and have that moment of extreme jubilation, that moment in time that we cannot honestly describe how good it feels to be the best because we cannot comprehend that feeling yet. The true feeling of a champion.

Whether we compete in the sport or we watch it or analyze it, we all want that one moment where we can say we overcame every obstacle to be the best. That is what sports does.

It has that power, like love, to envoke all these emotions from the good to the bad because we all live for that moment of greatness.

It doesn’t matter what sport or what athlete it is. From Babe Ruth to Muhammad Ali to Mario Andretti to Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard to Tiger Woods to Hayley Wickenheiser, the list can go on and on, it is these people and the world of sport that bring us together from all walks of life for those moments of greatness.

And that is what sports is all about.

I would hate to live in a world without sports.

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2 Responses

  1. […] thesportscorner Wrote an interesting post today on thesportscorner.wordpress.comHere’s a summary…. […]

  2. […] and brought North America back. If sports, and in this case, baseball didn’t exist, … thesportscorner.wordpress.com/2007/10/30/sports-where-would-we-be-without-you/ The Sports Corner […]

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