Photo by Jim Karczewski
I do not understand people who aren't sports fans. I think it's human nature to celebrate when a fellow person works hard to become the best and actually achieves their goals. This holds true in every career and aspect of society, but most of these paths, unfortunately, do not award trophies for a job well done. I'm thinking of changing that in my industry, though. I'll let you know how it goes.
Anyway, for me it's easy to get swept up in the drama of the playoffs for any sport. I can tune into ESPN #73, watch four minutes of professional monkey wrestling and emerge with a clear favorite and cry when the other monkey loses. I especially love Chicago sports teams and enjoy the rising excitement that is practically visible in the air when a championship becomes a possibility. Whether it's the Bears, the White Sox, the Bulls or the Blackhawks, any kind of championship series takes top billing in my life when it involves a hometown team. (Where are the Chicago Cubs in my list? I'm a native south sider and therefore can't root for the Cubs without fear of being disowned by my family. Sorry, Cubs fans).
The Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup Finals right now. This has been especially exciting because I admit before two or three years ago, I really had no idea the Blackhawks existed. Yes, I'm a total bandwagon fan, although due to the old owner of the team, it was difficult to follow them on television before 2007 so I somewhat have an excuse. I've watched every game of the playoffs and I'm amazed at the toughness of these players. Duncan Keith lost seven teeth in a game. Can you even IMAGINE that??? Oh, and he went back in and finished the game. After losing seven teeth. Give that man some sort of medal right now. He wins.
My beloved sister Kerry is not a sports fan. She has taken to Facebook to protest the many Blackhawks-themed status updates on her feed. She doesn't understand why sports take a priority in a world where children are getting shot, people are suffering from diseases and random women are getting attacked on the way home from bars at night. Kerry would rather use her Facebook to talk about Snoop Dog and the fact that Ellen and Kate Gosselin have the same voice- you know, the important issues in life. (Kidding, Ker! Put down that chainsaw!)
There's a place for working for social justice and a place for volunteering to help our society and a place for expressing outrage about BP. However, there's a lot to be said for mindless joy and watching a group of men try to achieve a goal they've been dreaming about since they were kids. I like to close my eyes and imagine what it would be like to be able to move effortlessly across the ice and knock the holy crap out of someone else, all in the race for a win. I'll always be a sports fan, and I'm thrilled to be a bandwagon Blackhawks fan.