If you’re reading this it’s too late: You are already invested in Rice sports, and there is no need for me to convince you that they are worth your time. You have deemed that this column is worth your time. Well, maybe you’re reading this because you saw the first line and thought I was writing about Drake. Sorry about that. I’m not.
I don’t need to tell you about the excitement I felt on Friday evening when I went to Reckling Park for Opening Day. You already understand the serenity of sitting under the dark sky and watching the ball explode off of the pitcher’s fingers and slap into the catcher’s mitt. It is not easy to explain the silent chess match of a baseball game, but I don’t have to. You see it yourself.
I want to tell you about the rush of adrenaline I get every time a football game enters the fourth quarter. The stress of watching that clock tick down toward zero as the offense desperately tries to get into field goal range, the agony of seeing the final Hail Mary pass crash to the turf, the helplessness of sitting in the stands as the coach drops his headset and walks dejectedly to the center of the field — you know all of that.
The swish of a basketball net is music to you. And the screech of the referee’s whistle is like nails on a chalkboard. You know the buzzer can be a celebratory cheer to end a victory or a grieving moan to close a loss. You appreciate the sacrifice of thousands of people screaming so loud that they lose their voices just to distract the opposing team’s free-throw shooter.
I wish I could tell you about the feeling of bliss I get after watching my favorite team win. And I want to pretend that I don’t get a pit in my stomach after a loss. Naturally, I can’t. You know that would be a lie. At the end of the season, those feelings intensify. A championship victory puts a close on a season you will cherish forever, and a playoff loss destroys a team you once loved.
I could tell you about the friends I’ve connected with because I’m a sports fan. I can describe all of the times I have sat with them for three hours to watch a game. Of course, you know watching the game is hardly a passive experience. Watching involves critiquing every decision the coach makes, debating the quality of each and every player who enters the game, and, every once in a while, jumping out of your seat and high-fiving everyone within arm’s reach.
There is nothing I can do that will change your mind because you already care about sports. You know how it feels to put down your work and become lost in a game, to distract yourself from everything else going on in life for a few hours by watching sports. If you’re reading this, it’s too late. You know all of this.