Watch and learn

By NANCY WOO, sophomore

SINCE ANCIENT TIMES, sports has established itself as a common ground to bring people together — to unite a shaken community or bring peace between warring nations. The essence of exhilaration in sports is that moment when the underdog fights back to cover a large deficit with a mere few minutes left and finally defeats the high ranked team. In sports, the unexpected is always more expected. That is the beauty of not only playing sports, but also of observing the intense action that ensues, as a spectator. By being a sports fan, you grow accustomed to the peculiar, yet exciting trends of sporting events, and the more you follow them, the more involved you feel with the sport.

Being a sports fanatic is a way of life. Initially, you are a fledgling, a person who is merely interested in the sport. Slowly but steadily, that feeling evolves into something greater, whether by talking to your friends, immersing yourself in professional sports, or going to a tailgate to watch the event. Eventually, you begin to bleed the colors of the team. Before you know it, you can’t help but count down the hours to the big game. When the team loses, you experience a gutwrenching feeling in the pit of your stomach, but when it wins, you feel ecstatic — like you are with the team, joining in their celebratory huddle. The team has become a part of your identity and its accomplishments add to your pride.

Understanding sports is like understanding a whole new language. When discussing events of a competition, a literate sports fan must use the standard vocabulary at all times and apply the rules of “grammar” appropriately. To make matters even more complicated, each sport has a separate vernacular, often using different terms for similar actions. Yet once you master the language, you feel a sense of pride. Remember the first time you realized that you could actually understand French or Spanish? This is exactly how understanding sports jargon feels. When you flip on Sunday Night Football and understand Jon Gruden’s color commentary, you feel a sense of accomplishment. You can partake in a completely new form of communication.

When you are a fan of a particular sport, you are one of a community of people who share the same interest. That’s why you don’t hesitate to give high fives to the fans around you in the bleachers and share their happiness. You instantly build a common bond with others around you, which also provides you the opportunity to meet new people.

So the next time you flip through the channels on your television, take a minute to watch a sports game — you’ll be surprised to see how much you enjoy watching it, and you may even find yourself wildly cheering. And the next time you flip through the pages of Hawkeye, be sure to turn to the sports section. You won’t be disappointed.

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