Happy Independence Day: A Sports Fan’s Perspective

Happy Independence DayFrom a sports fan’s perspective, I am especially happy to celebrate Independence Day.

Certainly, I am grateful for the foresight of our nation’s forefathers who envisioned, more than two hundred years ago, a land of the brave and free.

Their courage and vision enabled Americans to now enjoy and prosper in the greatest country that the world has ever witnessed.

Their bold actions in the late 1700’s birthed a country that served as a beacon of hope for the downtrodden, a country that afforded infinite opportunity to the industrious and a country (though our founding fathers could never have envisioned it) that provided the perfect opiate for the people – sports!

Since our nation’s inception, sports has grown into a universal phenomena and Americans have vigorously supported a diverse offering of individual and competitive sports at every conceivable level.

That’s because sports transcends religion, cuts through cultural ties, eludes ethnicity, ignores bank accounts and fails to distinguish between sex, weight, age and even familial bonds.

And, even when it comes to sports, we have our forefathers to thank for the freedom to cheer on and support our favorite player, team or sport on this festive 4th of July.

Simply, our favorite team is our favorite team – not our dad’s, our sister’s or even that of our spouse. Our inalienable right as a sports fan is to root for whomever we want.

It’s constitutionally protected, but not in those exact words!

Sure, our choice may defy logic, strain family ties, break stereotypes and shatter urban myths. But it’s still our choice, one that should never be forced upon us at any time.

The right to root for our team and our favorite player is buried deep down in our DNA. It’s our privilege, our prerogative in spite of what others think or say and cannot be taken away.

Not only is it our right to choose our favorite team, but I propose it’s also a God-given sports right to cheer against another team.

It’s healthy and even cathartic to vent our sports fan frustration toward bitter rivals who have beat up on our boys too often in the past or carry themselves in a far too confident manner.

Articulating our angst by deciding “Anybody, but…” is what’s Best About Sports. It’s even a chapter in a FREE sports comic book I penned.

Best About SportsFor example, it’s perfectly OK if the continued, unabated success of college programs like Duke and Kentucky basketball or Alabama and USC football ruffle our feathers.

It’s understandable if the 27 World Series Championships that New York Yankees fans routinely bring up in baseball conversation makes our blood start to boil. Plus, Bronx Bomber fans always seem to reference baseball’s purported greatest team ever – the 1927 Yanks.

It’s alright if the preponderance of championship banners hanging over the courts at Staples Center in Los Angeles or TD Bank North Garden in Boston cause us to grind our teeth.

It’s a part of the game when storied soccer teams like Manchester United, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid spend boat loads of cash to consistently attract the top talent in the world and make us want to scream as our local club wallows in mediocrity.

Hey, maybe the original America’s Team (the Dallas Cowboys), the wanna-be America’s Team (the New England Patriots) or the most likely choice from Titletown for what should be America’s Team (the Green Bay Packers) give us indigestion at the sound of their names.

America's Team

The Dallas Cowboys – The Original America’s team

No worries, man! Just ease up. Flip on ESPN Sports Center and relax.

It’s OK to blow off some steam. Remember that we’re just fine. Allow that cup of angst to spill over as much and as long as you want.

Remember, it’s our Constitutional sports right to root for – or against – any team from any town at anytime.

In my house, the sports motto has always been, “Anybody but…”

Happy Independence Day! That’s my sports fan’s perspective on this special day. Now, fire up the grill, open a cold one and get ready for some fireworks!

MIKE on sports!

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