Today is International Happiness Day.
To celebrate the world’s annual joyful holiday, I’ve compiled a list of the top 20 sights that make me happy as a sports fan.
These splendid sights always bring a smile to my face. They cover a bunch of sports and give fans the opportunity to experience the world of sports through a very happy lens.
Hope my list makes you happy, too.
20. Lighting the flame in an Olympic stadium – Gotta love the awesome tradition of the Olympic torch’s tireless journey. After an arduous trip being passed from one torch bearer to another across many continents, the flame finally lights the awaiting bowl in Olympic Stadium and officially marks the beginning of the games.
19. Capacity crowds – Cheering fans all clad in matching team colors and packing out a 100,000+ seat stadium or filling a rickety old high school gym is always a wonderful sight.
18. Not having to see these guys in uniform anymore – In spite of their skill and athletic excellence when they played, I love NOT having to see the likes of Brett Favre, Terrell Owens, Manny Ramirez, Jose Canseco and Chad Ochocinco in uniform anymore. It’s very doubtful anyone would disagree.
17. Fly-overs at big games – USA fighter jets buzzing a capacity filled stadium immediately after hearing the National Anthem may now be a thing of the past. But, what a thrill it was to witness these fly-overs in person.
16. Expertly groomed field for baseball game – I love gorgeously manicured grounds! Think of all the suburbanites who would give anything to have their front lawns look as pristine and expertly mowed as your favorite baseball infield or outfield at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park.
15. Crunching hit on the boards in hockey – This bone rattling play on the ice looks and sounds like a train wreck coming right at you if you’re seated anywhere near the glass in the rink.
14. Soccer goal celebrations – You may have to wait endlessly for them during a nil – nil match, but inventive and exuberant post goal parties on the field are always worth the wait.
13. Dimming the lights for introductions – Gotta love the darkening of arenas, anticipating the choreographed starting line-up introductions accompanied by strobe lights, pulsating music and maybe even smoke and pyrotechnics.
12. 4th and inches in a tied 4th quarter game – If you’re watching at home, this sight will force you to put down the chips, place conversations on hold and move to the edge of your seat. If you’re watching at the game in the bleachers, this sight will always bring you to your feet.
11. The 5-4-3 double play in baseball – In spite of the brief moments it takes to complete this complex task, turning a double play in baseball is a smooth, quick and efficient sight made to look extraordinarily easy. It immediately excites one set of fans, while totally deflating another.
More Sports Sights That Make Me Happy
10. Marching Bands – We all love to watch perfectly aligned students wearing swanky costumes and plumed hats while they march in unison. This sight reaches a whole new level as gleaming tubas, clarinets, trumpets, xylophones and drums complete this beautifully choreographed picture.
9. Punt return in football for TD – Sports fans love watching this for two reasons. One is to anticipate a thrilling return and the second is to witness the possible figurative decapitation of the punt returner that will be replayed endlessly on ESPN Sports Center.
8. Championship celebrations – Balloons, bear hugs and falling confetti are accompanied by grateful thanks, bumbled (yet easily forgiven) comments, champagne baths, tears of joy, proud boasts and the raising of expensive trophies. The entire spectacle makes staying up past midnight – if you live on the East Coast – worth the wait.
7. Technology like the FOX box, yellow 1st down line and ESPN scrolling squeeze box at bottom of the screen – How did sports fans ever survive without them in the days before our multi-media, multi-tasking world?
6. Home run robbing catch – The sight of an athletic outfielder climbing a 12 foot fence to extract a baseball out of mid air that’s about to leave the ball park is both heart stopping and priceless.
5. Perfectly executed screen play in football – With a simple flick from the quarterback and several 300 lb. linemen in tow, successful screen passes will always make the sports highlight reels on ESPN Sports Center’s plays of the day.
4. Perfectly executed pick and roll in basketball – Especially if they’re run as effortlessly and efficiently as those we see executed on John Stockton and Karl Malone highlights, no basketball fan would want to miss this sight.
3. Perfectly executed squeeze play in baseball – Even when you instinctively know this risky and lightning quick play is about to happen, it always seems to catch everyone by surprise.
2. Alley oop pass – There’s a reason why the beautiful and exciting sight of high flying flushes off precise alley oop passes always make ESPN Sports Centers’ plays of the day. They’re poetry in motion.
March Madness: My #1 Pick on International Happiness Day
1. March Madness upset – Skipping work on a Thursday afternoon to watch a Cinderella #15 seed upset a heavily favored #2 seed is exactly why we all readily embrace the spring sickness known as March Madness. Kids of any age will find every excuse under the sun to play hooky from work, school and family commitment.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a few favorite sights of your own for my list.
In addition to reading about the top sights in sports, this offer should make sports fans happy. For fans interested in shopping for authentic sports collectibles from their favorite teams, star players or championship seasons, click on the Sports Memorabilia logo above.
If, by chance, you opt to purchase any Sports Memorabilia product, we will earn a small commission. So, thank you.
And, here’s to a very happy International Happiness Day to you!
Mike – thee ultimate talking head on sports!