Little Man in a Big Sports World Columnist Jim Biery.

Sports: The Mirror of Life

Little Man in a Big Sports World Columnist Jim Biery.

Little Man in a Big Sports World Columnist Jim Biery.

By Jim Biery

If you’re a sports fan already, you will completely

understand what I’m about to write. If you know

nothing about sports, please read on and maybe

I can explain why grown men wear other grown

men’s uniforms and jerseys during the big game.

I will admit that I don’t understand why wearing

your favorite player’s jersey with your last name

somehow gets you closer to the team and the

player you are cheering for. You may be a successful

business man, a well-respected lawyer, even a

project manager for a construction company. (That

being said has anyone seen an athlete showing

up at your office wearing a doctor’s uniform or

a hard hat? Point is, you should be proud and

confident of your last name and your abilities

in your chosen field and maybe realize that you

possess special talents that the best quarterback

or basketball superstar does not.)

Enough of the fashion part of this column.

What drives men and women to paint their

faces, wear lucky team sweatshirts and holler

profanities at a TV screen in hopes the referee

can hear them disagreeing with the holding call?

Sports offer a temporary escape from life’s

daily grind and ups and downs. It’s that simple.

For a couple of hours, you join other sports fans

watching and waiting for that one play, that one

shot that brings you to your feet, jumping and

cheering loudly. During this timeframe, people

are united for one cause: a team victory.

Regardless of your age, size, gender, religious

affiliation, and political views – nothing

else matters.

Many become one for a single cause.

Imagine if we could adopt this team mindset

and apply it to all the worthy causes and rallies

that lead off every newsfeed you watch nowadays.

(That’s enough of that also. If there is any

conversation I look to avoid, it would include

religion and politics.)

Another aspect of sports that is so special is that

nothing can be scripted. There are no re-runs,

and you can never know what the outcome will

be. Sometimes, it seems like everything else we

watch is predictable or repeated. Reality shows

basically follow the same script every year: Throw

strangers together in a somewhat cramped space,

add alcohol and Rednecks or steroid-loving males

with a few fiery females with daddy issues or “I’m

a Princess” mindset, and “suddenly” you have

every season of every reality show that has been

produced in the past 10 years.

Sporting events have the ability to take

you back to a certain place in time and the exact

location you witnessed something so special that

the stories of that event and that one unbelievable

play or catch comes up in conversations not only

between friends but has the ability to connect

generations.

For instance, on Feb. 3, 2008, I was at a lifelong

friend’s house watching my beloved New York

football Giants play the New England Patriots

in the Super Bowl. Late in the fourth quarter,

Eli Manning pulled off an escape from what

looked like a certain sack to throw a completion

to David Tyree, a little-known wide receiver from

Syracuse University.

That famous catch is considered by many to

be the greatest play in Super Bowl history. It was

one moment in time that I was lucky enough not

only to see live but also to experience with many

special friends. That reception lead to a miracle

victory over the previously undefeated Patriots,

who were looking to create history as being the

first team ever to go 19-0.

I’m not trying to change anyone’s view on

whether they like sports or not. Trust me, if any

of you readers would like to discuss cooking

techniques, gardening tips, or whether or not

you have ever spotted an Eastern Towhee (that’s

a bird, by the way), I am your man.

What I hope you take away from this column is

that what really matters in life – and sports – are

the moments you can’t script or even explain.

Those are the moments that you can recall and

lead to a shake of your head at how it happened or

maybe even a tear in your eye when you remember

where you were and who you were with.

Experiences like those are why I love sports

so much and appreciate the ongoing unwritten

drama that only a live sporting event can provide.

So, if want to spend your afternoons watching

“Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” I can’t stop

you. However, (spoiler alert ahead), I can tell you

the next episode will feature characters with low

self-esteem and high bank accounts who are willing

to convince you that their life is better than yours.

(Spoiler alert: Don’t believe them.)

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