As a sports fan and a sports writer, I have seen both sides of what sports can mean to a fan, community. I’ve seen the over the top fandom that leads people to do illogical things. But at the same time, I’ve seen how a sport can uplift a city and bring unity.
With that in mind, these past several days really showed me what exactly sports is all about. But do we get too obsessive with sports sometimes? Or do we undervalue the impact of what sports means.
This is part two of a two-part series in which I look at the sports and why we can’t just look at it as just a game.
If you haven’t seen the movie Invictus or know about the story, watch the above video. That’s what I love about sports. It’s not just a game. For some people, sometimes a country, it’s a life-changing movement.
When I first enrolled at San Jose State, then football head coach Fitz Hill held a gathering at the campus bookstore to talk about literacy among the youth of this country. He understood that the sports game was more than just a game. It served as a connection to people from all different backgrounds.
People of different race, religion, social status can all get together because of sports. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you’re a fan, you’re part of the sports family.
That’s what Hill taught me my freshman year and that’s part of the reason why I decided to pursue a career in sports media. I wanted to tell the story of why sports is more than a game. Sure the scoreboard should be the focus. But sometimes, there is a bigger story that has nothing to do with the action on the field.
So every time I watch sports, I don’t harbor any bad feelings toward any athletes or teams. There are dislikes, but there is no hate. I understand that these athletes are part of a greater cause. They are ambassadors and they are leaders.
And because of sports, it has changed the way we see things in the world. Athletes like Alonzo Mourning have influenced people to become donors. Sometimes a sports person’s sickness becomes the key in getting people awareness.
Simply put, sports has meant a lot to me and most of its impact had nothing to do with the players or the score. I’ve grown closer to my dad because of sports. The same can be said with my friends. I’ve built a bond with the community where my favorite teams reside. There’s a story outside of the ballpark.
It’s more than just a game. It’s part of life.
Sports can allow me to hug a stranger. Sports allows me to break out chants in the middle of the BART train. It’s because sports brings people together. That’s why I love it. It allows people to be united as one. And it brings joy to people.
It’s hard to put a finger exactly where I stand with sports. I know that sports is just a game. But at the same time, it’s more than a game. There is balance point. There is no middle ground.
That’s the beauty of sports. Let’s go enjoy the game with each other.