Everyone knows the saying: “it’s just a game”. Implying that it really doesn’t matter in the end. False.
Sports is just as much a part of our community, just as much a fabric of our lives as any other aspect of culture. I could spend most of my time here talking about the business aspect of the sporting industry, which is a $400 billion a year industry, clearly suggesting that sports is more than “just a game”. But I won’t because those numbers speak for themselves.
What I will say is that the impact of sports cannot be measured by dollars and cents. The treasure that we find in sports, from youth sports to professional leagues; is the teamwork, the life lessons, the camaraderie and the way sports allows us to vicariously live a separate life from the mundane-ness we experience daily. Some of my greatest memories as a kid are the summer days playing baseball in the yard, the early fall months of tossing the football around with the neighbors or even elementary school recess soccer. (I was so good, I think I missed my calling!)
Sports captures the creativity in us. Michael Jordan, Barry Sanders, Wayne Gretzky. These guys were just as much artists with their craft as they were athletes. Cal Ripken, Jr. is revered, for what? He just played a game. John Elway is a legend. Why? All he did was play a game right?
It’s not just a game. It’s the beat our hearts makes during the final seconds of overtime. It’s the beat our hearts make when we cling to the edge of our seats as the game-winning shot goes up. It’s the beat of our hearts when we watch a friendly softball game between friends go down to the wire. Sports is not simply a game. It is so much more. It’s the beat…