Sports Legacy

Every year during championships, I have the following series of thoughts about sports. It often goes back to the scene from “Facing the Giants”.

The football coach holds up some money.

Name the state championship from ten years ago, he starts. If you can, the money is yours.

No one can do it.

What about five years ago?

A player shouts a name of the school.

Wrong answer.

Another player shouts out the name of another school.

No, that was three years ago, said the coach.

Another player shouts out another.

No, said the coach. “You’re just guessing.”

The point, all glory and championships fade.

I wonder about some sports fanatics – how they can recite the winners of the championship game of their sports ten, fifteen, twenty years in a row and then forget what they ate for breakfast two days ago. And if twenty years is the max limit, what about thirty, or forty, or fifty years? You might remember Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris – their batting averages, their jersey numbers, all the teams they played for, but what about their cause of death? What were they like in life? Were they successful sportsmen, and terrible husbands and fathers?

Tiger Woods is the best at golf but if I were his friend, I would not go to him for marital advice.

Some football players are in the news… for assault and battery, drug possession, and murder. I would not ask them for help in dealing anger issues.

MMA fighters are nimble, fighting machines. They would be great trainers too because they are motivated and disciplined. Yet they seem to inspire most bar fights in downtown sports bars on fight nights.

So is sports all wrong and bad?

Of course not. I would never condemn sports. 

I enjoy watching baseball and maybe some ice hockey.

Basketball? Not my thing.

I enjoy watching the Winter Olympics. Curling, the skeleton, the bobsled, and the cross country biathlon = awesome.

Football: just the Superbowl

Soccer – the real football: too many teams

Rugby: awesome!

Competitive skeet and rifle? I’m there!

I used to fence with a foil and go to the gym.

I take strong issue with the idolization of athletes.  I am fond of the poster:

helmet quote

During a triumph, a victorious Roman general entered Rome with his troops. There were prisoners in chains in the parade. The triumph showcased the might of Rome, her soldiers, and honored the man who led them. And riding with the general is a slave. The stories differ; some say the slave was commanded to remind the general – “You’re only a man”. Others say that the slave was commanded to say: “This too will pass.” I’ll take both.

So come championship time, remember the following words:

“These athletes are only human.” and,

“This glory too will pass.”


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