From the sports desk: Finding ways to say goodbye as the curtain closes on yet another year

May 15, 2009

by Justin Phillips

Smothered in the background within the deafening silence of my bedroom late one school night, I can hear Lebron James ripping the Atlanta Hawks apart, play-by-spectacular-play.

Honestly, the noise is fine with me, there’s no need to turn around and watch the massacre by one of the best players in the league. Plus, I couldn’t if I wanted to because I’m trying to focus for once and finish my final sports column of the school year.

Once again, I find myself sitting at my desk late at night, trying desperately to take the random thoughts that have made up my sports columns over the past two years, out of my head and place them onto the glowing laptop screen in front of me…coherently.

It’s amazing, the easiest thing for all people to relate with one another over just so happens to usually be the hardest thing to put into words: sports.

For people like me, watching sports is like opening a window in your house when your kitchen gets filled with smoke.

Sports are my fresh air. It seems really ridiculously at first, but it’s the honest-to-god truth. There is something about athletic competition, whether watching or participating, that has a way of elevating itself above the mundane everyday problems.

The idea that a football player or baseball player is thinking about getting his oil changed or needing to make sure to go pick up more milk and soap while running up the sideline or around the bases is absurd.

Sports remove the reality that smacks us in the face every single day, if only for a little while. For people that aren’t the sports buff that I am, I challenge you to try that this summer.

Even if it’s a sport you don’t find yourself usually into, take a seat and watch it. Imagine what that athlete is thinking.

Imagine what pressure they may be under to perform at such a high level. With logical thoughts like this, you’ll ultimately find yourself slipping from the grasps of your everyday struggles and genuinely enjoying the competitiveness taking place in front of you.

In no way am I saying that you should live vicariously through these people, but what I am saying is enjoy the moment.

Take this past football season with our Bulldogs as an example. The season seemed like yesterday for some reason and it had a tad bit more excitement than we have had in past seasons.

It was almost like there was a secret in the Western Athletic Conference that something good was going to happen with our team and everybody knew it except us. We all expected something great this season, but making the first bowl game since 2001 is still mind blowing.

Now, analyze the NBA playoffs in this same way.

As a sports fan, this is as good as basketball gets. Two of the players many consider to be the best basketball players on the planet, find themselves competing for the same trophy.

Lebron James and Kobe Bryant are the young generation of sports fans’ Micheal Jordan or Magic Johnson or Larry Bird.

The games, the plays, the announcer’s commentary you see or hear every night these two dynamos of the hardwood take the floor, may be something that you will hear again 50 years down the road because of the significance of the moment.

Then there is baseball. The MLB is trying to shake the coils of disappointment brought on by the steroid issues with some of the games’ best players. This year is basically the make or break year for America’s pastime.

The sport has had so many black eyes from allegations that it is stumbling trying to find its way back into the hearts of the common sports fan.

Basically, take advantage of enjoying sports whether it be recreational, collegiate or professional. The freedom that comes with competition is that best way to relieve stress.

As college students, we are all having to rapidly become adults, but the one good thing sports offer in this instance are the constant reminders that at the core of everything, life should still be fun.

There will always be that childish nature in you that wants to get out and what better way to open that proverbial window for that inner kid to sneak out of than by watching some sporting event with a group of friends.

To close this year of epic sporting events for not only our school, but the nation, I want to make it known how much we as a sports staff appreciate the compliments, suggestions and online reading. Without the people who pick up this paper everyday and give us feedback, this staff would not be able to do its job.

So, with next year on the immediate horizon, all that we can do now is spend the summer looking forward to another quality year in Tech athletics. The future is now for many of our programs and much like watching the NBA playoffs, as students, we are in the moment of pending greatness.