With a Grain of Salt

Jul 5, 2013 by


June 17, 2010 – I was picturing the victory cigar at the local gas station…

The Boston Celtics were up double digits in the 4th quarter of Game 7 of the NBA Finals vs. the Los Angeles Lakers(at least that’s how I remember it).  The problem with my potential victory cigar?  I don’t think the Celtics ever got another rebound (Center Kendrick Perkins had torn his ACL in Game 6).  Even though Kobe couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn that night, the Lakers dominated the glass and kept creeping closer and closer.  During that 4th quarter I went from confident/nervous to uneasy to stomach churning to frustration to flat out PISSED OFF!  The Lakers won the NBA Championship…and then shortly after came the text message from my older brother, a Laker fan, and I will let your imagination picture exactly what that message entailed.  There was no stop at the gas station, and the world was falling apart…or so I thought. This was me at 22 years old.

Really?  My favorite millionaire basketball players lost to some other millionaires and I lost sleep and immersed myself in unneeded stress…it all makes complete sense….  Folks, professional sports are awesome – no doubt.  There are amazing memories of either playing, attending in person or watching on TV from one sport or another.  The trip out to Pasadena to watch Ron Dayne run over UCLA was something I will never forget, along with having breakfast at Denny’s every morning of course!

Sports in America are admittedly overblown.  Too many people base their lives, and priorities, around the Yankees, or whoever “their” team is.  America puts sports athletes on such high pedestals even if they live dirt bag type lives’, it’s scary.  Society as a whole today is too selfish, looks only at what pleases its own desires and feel entitled to everything.  If the Celtics win the NBA Championship, does that mean I won’t have to pay my monthly utilities bill?  What is important and what should be of priority….spending time with your loved ones or constantly isolating yourself in front of the TV to watch Derek Jeter go 2 for 4?  At the end of the day, what takes true precedence in your life, revolving your every move around some millionaires you do not know or being there for your family, friends or loved ones?  That is for you to decide.

I always love when people go red in the face yelling at their TV’s over a sporting event.  I’d be an absolute hypocrite if I said I have never done this or still do not do it once in a great while now.  At the end of the day, does whoever win the NBA Finals truly, at the root, affect your life?  Outside of a few conversations among your peers or purchasing the new championship t-shirt, not really….  Do your personal relationships and impactful events in your life trump sports?  Again, that is your call.

The point of this article is absolutely NOT an attempt to drive you away from watching professional sports.  I simply want to suggest a more balanced approach.  Starting from a young age, sports have been a huge part of my life, whether playing or watching, and have truly helped shape me, as I am sure the case is with many of you.  Sports are Awesome Baby! (Dick Vitale style – I mean it is June so I know you are all missing him right about now….)  Sorry, lost some focus there….anyway, intense competition between two teams is great, especially when you know it means so much to everyone involved.  BUT humbly enjoy sports and the victories that come along with the ride.  Victory sure does taste pretty sweet!  Do not dwell on losses or take anything too serious.  As a competitor, it is tough to get over an excruciating loss, whether on the field of play or in the game of life, but it is also an opportunity to build perseverance.  Lessons learned through sports honestly last a lifetime.  Maybe the solution is to watch and play sports while being with your loved ones!  Kill two birds with one stone…

Case in point – The Brewers have had an awful start to this 2013 baseball season.  With some of the ruthless Facebook posts and tweets I have come across you would think some Little League teams might steal one from the Brew Crew.  To be completely honest, it has been a bit ridiculous with the Brewer hate so far.  Swearing through social media about your “favorite” sports team does not make you any better of a fan, but in my eyes displays disloyalty and immaturity.  I mean, it is THE MILWAUKEE BREWERS!  They will always be awesome to me, and Miller Park is my favorite sports venue of all-time, yes even over Lambeau.  Even if the Brewers are 15 under .500, Bernie Brewer will still slide down his slide and families will still have an absolute blast at the park.  Plus, beer vendors will always shout out, “Ice Cold Beer Here!”  And for those readers outside the great state of Wisconsin, Miller products reign supreme here – not that rice garbage from St. Louis.  In conclusion, have fun with sports!  Who knows?…maybe the Brewers rattle off 12 in a row and at least start smelling a possible wild card berth.  Or maybe next year they will be an elite team in the National League again.

Sports are an amazing blessing, but can become a curse if you live, breath, and die by them. Focus on all the positives they offer, and when the day comes when your beloved millionaires drop a big game, simply take the loss with a grain of salt!


Twitter – @alexallister09

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