More to sports than just a game

Devon Jeffreys

Entering my second year as sports editor of The Gargoyle and third year on staff, I’m very happy with the strides we have made as a group. The biggest step this year was going to broadsheet, which also allowed me to get my own sports column, something I’ve wanted ever since I can remember.

A lot of people ask me questions like, “What’s the big deal about sports?” Especially in my journalism classes, people don’t seem to understand. My professors appreciate my passion and knowledge, but sometimes, fellow classmates don’t get it.

Last week a picture appeared on the front page of The New York Times of a tennis player in the U.S. Open and when we discussed the front of The Times in class, a fellow classmate questioned why a sports photo was important enough to be on the front.

My question is, why shouldn’t it? Sports represent some of the key elements of newsworthiness and are a highly captivating topic. Many a person has strong feelings about sports especially when it comes to representing one’s country, as is the case in tennis tournaments like the U.S. Open. It is a worldwide tournament, and so many in the world care — not just us couch potatoes here in the States.

As for me, sports have been a part of my life since before I can remember. When the New York Mets won the 1986 World Series, I was less than a year old, but I’m told that I shared the moments with my dad, laughing as he yelled at the television and celebrated when they won. The baseball connection was the first one my dad and I sustained, and it has been an important part of our relationship ever since.

Now, 20 years later, I’m 900 miles from home and my dad and I are not exactly the type to spend hours on the phone talking. But sometimes I’ll pick up the phone just to see if he saw the game the night before or how he thinks the team looks heading into the playoffs. It’s a bond we continue to have despite the distance and my strides toward independence.

Sports have always been important to me in my relationships with other people and I’ve always wanted to stay closely connected to them, which has led me to where I am today. For sports fans it is about feeling like a part of a team and having the opportunity to bond with fellow fans about something they have in common. For me it’s about pursuing a career and carrying on that bond with my dad.

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