Our honor defend

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, September 9, 2015

If you’re anything like me, sports are a very important aspect of your daily life. Scores from the previous night are typically the first thing I read when I wake and the last thing I check before my phone gets plugged in to charge for the night. I often have to pull myself away from a column about one of my favorite teams in order to finish my own articles before deadline, and I’m typically thinking about highlights from the previous game.

As I write, I’m thinking about Braxton Miller’s dazzling 53-yard touchdown run against Virginia Tech on Monday night. It’s a never-ending loop of a white No. 1 Ohio State jersey spinning past two defenders on his way to the endzone.

I admit, it’s borderline obsessive — no, IT IS obsessive — but it speaks to the impact that sports have on our society.

I recall a textbook that I was required to read while in college, “Sporting Rhetoric: Performance, Games and Politics” by Barry Brummett.

In it, the author explains how millions of people are able to participate and engage in games and experience the excitement and thrill of victory or anguish and despair of defeat as if they themselves were on the field.

“By becoming fans, spectators engage in certain kinds of pleasures, fulfilling their own desires through fetishism, voyeurism and narcissism,” Brumment said.

The idea of winning a game or a trophy is something that fuels us. We not only compete to enhance our own standing, but to also provide ourselves with a sense of accomplishment and pride at the expense of another’s failure. I, myself, felt just as fulfilled when Ohio State won as I did after Michigan lost several nights prior.

Really, though, what was the significance that either of those games truly had on my life? The former gave me the opportunity to gloat a bit and allowed me to be a bit more distracted at work than I had been during the offseason. But the true weight it carried came in the fact that the game sparked a conversation among my family, friends or coworkers and I.

While we are often enamored with the highlight plays and talented individuals of today’s games, let us not forget the importance that sports have on our lives beyond the box scores. So even when you’re on the team that lost to my alma mater on national television, it is crucial that we understand sports for what they are: a worldwide phenomenon that instills a sense of belonging and meaning to our lives. Some of us just happen to belong to a better team.

ANDREW LIND is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. He can be reached at (757) 562-3187 or andrew.lind@tidewaternews.com