personal, sports

Sports and passionate players

Are you like me? Is the regular season of the NBA intolerable to watch, and most of the playoffs are spent either glued to the TV or discussing the before or after of a game with friends, like you just can’t for the next one?

Is a regular season baseball game merely a good excuse to enjoy a beer (or two) and a hot dog (or two) with friends and family, but the playoffs are a nerve-wracking roller coaster ride best spent alone lest you let someone else interrupt the mojo you are trying to build for your team (“no, honey, when you sit next to me we never win”)? Plus on TV they sucker you in with all the cutaway shots of nervous fans!

I love sports, I can pretty much get into any sport’s post season, when players play as if it were their last game (cause it might actually be!), fans feel even more nervous than the players, and every sense becomes more heightened. We are more amazed by great plays than in the regular season, and we feel more bitter disappointment when a player makes a mistake. I even like to quickly learn about a sport to allow enjoyment of the battle, like those obscure Olympic sports – the players are definitely playing with ultimate passion as it may be their lifelong dream to win an Olympic medal; the least I could do is figure out when you should be called for a penalty in water polo.

I find the two sports I can get the most into on a regular basis are soccer and hockey. Don’t get me wrong, my favorite sport is actually pro football (sorry to most of you, I could never really get into college football since UNLV was not a football school growing up – understatement alert). But I believe the players in soccer (pretty much any league, anywhere) and the NHL play with the most passion on a day-in, day-out basis. And what’s interesting is that only magnifies the greatness of their playoffs. I get caught up in all the storylines of events like the Euro Cup or Copa America going on now, I find that I lose sleep when the US team doesn’t play well. I love that the NHL games actually become more open and have less penalties in their post season whereas most sports go the other way. I love that the fans in both sports are borderline crazy and leave it all out for their team, nothing left in reserve.

I am passionate, so these things resonate with me. I live for the emotion, of jumping up and screaming for a goal and high-fiving people I don’t even know! I love the sense of community, the way people can be brought together for a common cause. It’s everything I hope to lead my people to feel in our work, what I know my wife lives on (in her case passionate laughter and smiles), what I will want my kids to feel in life.

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