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
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
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
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.)