August 30, 2005

Sports Fans Have a Passion for the Little Things

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Every new year breeds optimism. It happens everywhere, whether it occurs in the real world or the sports world, new faces bring hope and excitement. Whether it is another baseball season in Chicago in which the Cubbies are to contend for a National League title or a second year in college in which you promise yourself that you will drink less and study more (at least for two weeks), speculation and hope is all that one needs to anticipate a banner year.

What a difference a year makes. Ask any Eagles fan about Terrell Owens. Last year he’s a hero who was supposed to take them to the Promised Land and this year he’s a whiny prima donna athlete-villain.

Although we talk about change and hope for better things to come, one thing that doesn’t change is that we love talking about things that probably are none of our business. Just look at the world of sports. We love to talk about how Larry Brown walks out on every team he coaches. We love to talk about how Ricky Williams likes to smoke marijuana and with that, we love to speculate about how amazing he could have been amongst the greatest of all time if he hadn’t wanted to become a Buddhist monk. Better yet, we love to talk about how Danica Patrick was the first woman to lead a lap at the Indianapolis 500. Recently, listed her as the No. 1 sexiest female athlete. Yes, we love to talk about that too.

When I got word that I would be writing this sports column, I immediately thought of what I wanted to write about. After thinking about it I realized that I just wanted to do what I do best – talk sports.

I don’t want to bash athletes (not saying I won’t) for their behaviors or question coaching and management decisions because I know that I’m just a normal college kid. I realize that I’m young and that I’m inexperienced when it comes to things of that nature. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t think that I can do their job better than they do.

I don’t want to use this column so I can kiss up to athletes for a single amazing achievement and I really don’t want to give praise to athletes who ended up being in the right era at the right time. You know what I’m talking about. Cough, cough, Sammy Sosa, cough, Rafael Palmeiro, cough. In all, I realized that I just wanted to have fun writing about the little things in sports. I want to talk about the things that get overlooked and the fun things that make us love sports.

I’ve heard it all before. We love sports because sports bring us together, but also drive us apart. Sports give us hope and let us have interest in something outside of our daily lives.

If you believe all that stuff, then good for you. I get a nice, warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read it too. It all sounds nice but the real reason we love sports is because of the little things. We love sports because they give us an excuse to eat way too much cheese dip every Sunday during football season, paint our faces for the first time since Halloween when we were in elementary school, and give us a reason to scream profanities at our television sets.

Sports are great because they give us something to talk about amongst our friends. Imagine a world in which guys go to a bar and just talk about normal things like their jobs and kids. That’s just one screwed up mental image.

Another example of the small things in sports is that of attending baseball games. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around the country and take in some good baseball such as the 2003 ALCS game 3 in Boston where Pedro took down Zimmer. Yes, I was throwing water bottles. Although that game was amazing for both the people watching on television and in the stadium, people forget about why people attend baseball games during the regular season. They attend them for the atmosphere and the entire show, which includes the greatest food ever invented, the All-American hot dog, as well as cold beer, the seventh-inning stretch, but unfortunately – no cheerleaders. I’ve been around and I’ve eaten crab cakes and Boog’s barbeque at Camden Yards, Fenway dogs in Boston, and onion burgers at the ballpark in Arlington, but unless you’ve had a bratwurst at SBC Park while overlooking the bay in San Francisco, you haven’t had the full baseball experience.

So with that, cheers to a hopeful new year full of touchdowns, goals, spikes, wins, and for the parents – good grades. Remember on game day the words said by Jack Black in Saving Silverman, which happens to be the same words my roommates say to me every Sunday, “Dude, if you get all the nachos stuck together, it counts as one nacho.”

Tim Kuhls is a Sun Staff Writer. That’s Kuhls, Baby will appear every other Tuesday this semester.

Archived article by Tim Kuhls