Thursday, November 16, 2006

Root, Root,.......

I guess it's impossible, but I hope all your candidates came out winners and that those who threw mud at your heroes are now up to their necks in the slime of their own making. Now we get a chance to see if the Democrats can preside in an equitable fashion, and we should all hope they haven't forgotten how to be the majority. Have a happy retirement, Mr. Rumsfeld. Thanks to Poppy Bush for providing your replacement.
But we're not talking politics today. As the title suggests, today we talk about one good thing in life, completely man made but mostly (though not completely) harmless. Yes, we're talking sports. I really believe that life is more interesting when you have someone to root for. There are winners and losers, sure. But that's good. No script, except in pro wrestling, and therefore no predetermined results. Rules designed to prevent injury and guarantee a fair test of the competitors. Perhaps too, just the joy of watching young people at the peak of fitness perform specialized athletic skills - the monster rebound, turning the double play, the ripping backhand, the go-for-broke takedown move, the one-handed touchdown catch or jumping over a bar set high overhead.
You even take on different roles as a spectator. A football or basketball fan at a game is a part of the mass that reacts as one to the action. Baseball fans like to pick the brains of the managers, with second guessing encouraged. People who are into golf and tennis see themselves in the competitors, but are awed by skills they can't match. You watch boxing looking for violence, but observe women's gymnastics hoping no one falls off the balance beam. I admit to being puzzled by things like NASCAR, but there's no arguing its popularity.
I follow several teams as the year rolls around. Some of them you might know a little about, but others could only be described as obscure. My favorite team, for instance, is a women's tennis team which represents a Division III (that means no athletic scholarships) college of less than 1500 enrollment, coached by an old friend who is paid less than what he spends traveling to recruit future players. His real job is financial planning, but the team gets most of his attention in the late summer and early fall. Too bad our move last year puts me 2000 miles plus away from the action.
Maybe 200 people in the entire world count themselves as part of this team's fan base. Still, it's just plain fun watching the players compete in six singles matches at once on a warm September day. Division III players might wish they had been given scholarships, but that doesn't mean they don't compete pretty fiercely. A recent #1 player barely topped 100 pounds. Others have flaws in their games that mean they'll never earn money from sports, but that just makes them like the rest of us except younger, making plans for the rest of their lives while fitting tennis in with homework, boyfriends and job applications.
I don't know if God intended that there be sports, but He didn't stand in the way. He might have hoped that we find ways to compete that didn't involve lethal weaponry and death. Or He could see it all as just a waste of time. Still, He made us as we are, so He shares in the blame for all that time we spend either competing or just watching. Until someone with LOTS of authority says otherwise, I plan to go right on watching, and right on caring.


Post a Comment

<< Home