What Is It That We Love About Sports?

Pretty vague question, right? Now, I’m not talking about things like your favorite sport or you just like the action. I’m wanting to know about the intricacies of various sports and what it is that draws us to the game. I’ll cover a few here with the sports that I follow, but I’d also love to hear from everyone who reads it. There is no right or wrong, just a mutual love of the game.

Baseball:

  • A play at the plate
  • A well executed hit and run
  • A perfectly turned double play
  • Watching a guy leg out a triple
  • A walk off, complete with a bat flip in the event of a HR

For me, there is nothing more exciting in all of sports than a close play at the plate. I could be watching 2 last place teams and it would still get my heart racing. You see a guy turn on the jets rounding third base and the cannon-armed RF throws an absolute laser. Yeah, that does it for me.The hit and run is almost a lost art. This is likely due to players today not having the contact ratio as players when I was growing up. Swing for the fences and cross your fingers. Turning a double play, especially if it gets the pitcher out of a jam, is fundamentals at its best. It kills momentum, it switches the emotional advantage to your side. Triples are all about speed. That ball caroms off the wall down in the corner, the helmet flies of the runner’s head, and then it’s just a race to third base. Willie Wilson was the most exciting to watch in my time. He made it an art. The walk off, especially in extra innings is a highly emotional event, win or lose. And if that ball clears the fence, you better flip that damned bat.

Hockey: 

  • The speed of the game
  • A good fight
  • The shootout

I’ve been watching hockey most of my life. The speed of the game is what I’ve always enjoyed. I can’t imagine gliding across ice at that speed. As a kid, I loved it when my dad took me to see the Cincinnati Stingers of the WHA. I would be glued to the action all night. Most of us love a good fight. It has become an accepted part of the game, unlike in all the other sports. It gets the crowd in a frenzy which spills over onto the ice. It just adds some gusto. For those times that the teams can’t settle it in regulation and OT, we get the shootout. Ok, except in the playoffs, but I get that. The shootout is man to man hockey. Show me what you’ve got and I’ll try to stop you. I love the team aspect of hockey, but a good shootout is a perfect ending to 3 hours of this beautiful game.

Football:

  • Goal line stop
  • RB with patience waiting for the hole to open
  • One-handed catches

Watching a defensive unit stuff a team at the goal line, especially if they have to do it on consecutive downs, is intense as hell. The defensive players have to raise their game to keep the other team from getting in. The guy with the ball, whoever it may be at any time, needs to get, quite often, only a few inches. As easy as that seems, it’s never a given. Too many RBs today just want to take off and let their speed do the talking. It doesn’t always work that way though. Seeing a RB patiently waiting for his O-Line to get that hole open is a thing of beauty. Eric Dickerson and Barry Sanders were 2 of the best I’ve seen at this. Their careers turned out ok. Give me a one-handed catch, even better if it’s at a crucial point in the game, and I’m a happy camper. The athleticism and acrobatic ability of the (usually) WR is something I could watch over and over.

There are many other sports I watch, but I don’t want to lull anyone to sleep. Basketball, surfing, Winter X-Games; the list goes on and on. I’d love to hear from you guys though. What is it that drives you to watch your sport of choice? If you want, reply here in the comments or hit me up on Twitter. So many facets of the game and no 2 people could be alike. Pitchers duel or monster bombs? Defensive game or a shootout on the gridiron? Either way, no matter what it is that you like, we’re extremely lucky to have these games in our lives.

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