Sports inspire and unite players and fans

Brian Stone

To the uneducated viewer, sports as a whole appear to be just a group of people running around on a playing field in order to win a game. To those who bury themselves in the activity daily, it becomes a part of people’s everyday lives. Sports can do an important number of things for people. For example, after the tragedy that happened on Sept. 11, 2001, many Americans were left with a sense of grief and sadness. People dealt with Sept. 11 in their own ways, but those who followed the NFL closely used football as a way to forget about such a tragic time, if only for a few hours per week.

Sports not only can be used as a way to distract, but a way to unite people who would not appear to have anything in common. Earlier this year I was at a gathering for a birthday, and the man sitting next to me asked me what I thought of Johnny Manziel. This man looked to be in his 70s or 80s and without sports we would have likely not spoken to one another. We were strangers who were about a half a century away in age, and could not appear to have less in common. But there we were, speaking about a former Heisman trophy winner who has become a polarizing topic for those with an in-depth knowledge of college football.

Sports are obviously important to the people playing them as well. For athletes on a college sports scholarship, this provides someone who may have not been able to attend a university the option to pursue a degree that allows them to work in a career field for the rest of their lives. Much is made of paying college players for their services, but people forget that many athletes have no interest of playing at a professional level, and are just using sports as a way to provide the tuition to get their degree.

For all of the grief that sports get about monstrous contracts, rowdy fans or its idiotic jocks, sports mean a great deal to many people. Sports also go beyond what happens on or off the field. Sports can also be used to unite people or take people’s minds off of tragic events. This is why I believe that sports mean more to people than just points, wins or losses.