Hello, friends. Hope springs eternal as the return of two of the four major sports finally happened. Sure, it’s been fun watching golf and that roided-up tool Bryson DeChambeau for the last couple months. Oh, and the MLS is back too? That’s cool I guess. However, neither compares to how monumental the return of the NBA and MLB is.
When this all began, I was ignorant and believed this whole pandemic was only a “glorified flu” and thought we were all overreacting. I wasn’t able to bury myself in sports and ignore the major problems going on around us like I’ve done in the past. Instead, I was able to educate myself and realize how wrong I was on this from the start.
I was able to do the same with police brutality and the social unrest throughout the country. I wasn’t able to look away, I wasn’t able to focus on sports and put the real issues out of sight and out of mind, and I’m glad I wasn’t able to. It showed me that even when sports are back in full swing — if they ever are again — to pay attention and not look away.
So in a time with all this social unrest and the need for education of the public, are we wrong to be clamoring for the return of sports? Am I just a selfish asshole who wants his sports back so he can have his distraction? Maybe you think I am and I wouldn’t blame you for that.
But I believe sports are something we need right now and could possibly even help bring more awareness to the issues. All of the major sports give athletes a platform and voice to speak out and call for much-needed change — and please spare me the “shut up and dribble” BS. They can be role models for people who might want to say something, but are looking for the courage to do so themselves.
Sports have also become an integral part of our society. They have been bringing families and friends together for decades. Even at the most basic level, kids learn so much from being part of a functioning team.
Without that basic entry to sports, I don’t know if I’d have the group of friends I have today. We started playing tee ball together when we were 5-years-old and are still pals 20 years later.
Without golf, I don’t think I ever would have been extremely close with one of my grandfathers who played just about every day and instilled a love for the game and Tiger Woods in me. But when I go out for a round, to this day I have a piece of him with me after he’s gone. I also wouldn’t have the second-best sporting moment of my life — watching Tiger Woods sink his return to glory putt with tears of joy streaming down my face.
Without football, well I don’t know who the hell I would even be without God’s gift to this earth we call football. I know I wouldn’t have bonded as much with my other grandfather and our mutual love for all things LSU football. I’ll always think of him watching them play and it’s because of him I’ll have my all-time favorite sports memory of hugging my pops as LSU clinched the national championship back in January — and yes, I was ugly-crying all over again.
So maybe I am selfish for wanting sports back, but that’s only because they’ve shaped my entire life thus far and have made me who I am today. I’m sure I won’t be alone in that, and I see them as a healing mechanism for a society and country that desperately needs it at this time.
Let us know @samuel_murphy20 or using #theBRKDWN on Twitter what sports have given you in your lifetime. I hope this is the end of this series and we don’t have to pick it back up, but until next time. Stay safe, stay healthy and for college football’s sake, wear your goddamn masks.
*PS — ETA of course I didn’t even get this up before the Marlins tried to completely derail the MLB season
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