Sports are more than ‘just a game’

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Nick Martinez-Esquibel. Orion file photo.

“It’s just a game,” my girlfriend told me.

Although it seemed inevitable, I was still visibly upset when the San Francisco Giants were eliminated from playoff contention this year, losing the game that sealed their fate to the Los Angeles Dodgers at home in AT&T Park no less.

After turning off the TV, I began to think about what my girlfriend had said, because to me, it’s not just a game.

From the viewpoint of someone who doesn’t pay attention to sports, baseball is just a game. There are two teams, rules and whoever scores the most points wins— No different than your average game of “go fish.”

But what makes sports more than just a game? The fans.

Sports fans are unique to any other type of fans. When we watch our team on the field or on TV, it’s like a part of us is out there. We live and die by our team. It’s not “The team lost today,” it’s “We lost today.”

Sports make someone a part of something that is beyond just yelling at the TV or jumping up and down in the stands and cheering until their voice is completely gone. Sports turn complete strangers into best friends— We high five on our way out of the stadium. Sports turn bars full of people who have never met into a group of people all fighting for the same cause: to help their team win.

The beauty of sports is that anything is possible. They’re the best script no one can write. It could be the last game of the World Seires or the last seconds in the Super Bowl. Fans of the teams playing will be holding their breaths on the edge of their seats, waiting to see what happens. The greatest writer in the world will never come close to reproducing the feelings in a book or movie that someone feels during a major sporting event.

Sports can bring people together in a time of need. It can bring hope to those who have absolutely nothing. It allows those to dream of greatness and a better life. Kevin Durant went from growing up in extreme poverty where his mom went to bed hungry so her two kids could eat to becoming the NBA MVP. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.

We sports fans can get a bad rap sometimes. Some cast us out as a bunch of meatheads who are belligerent drunks yelling at a bunch of grown men because they missed a shot. There’s no denying that there are some fans like that out there, but to most of us, sports are more than that.

If you were to ask me my top-10 memories in the 21 years I’ve lived on this earth, it’s safe to say at at least seven have to do with sports. Sports are just as much a part of me as the blood that runs through my veins.

Next time one of your friends or significant others is down after their team loses, let them pout. Although it might be just a game to you, it’s not just a game to us.

Nick Martinez-Esquibel can be reached at [email protected] or @THENickMartinez on Twitter.