Volume 96, Issue 82
Thursday, March 6, 2003

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Why sports should run your life

Ryan Dixon
Sports Editor

While some people tend to hold sports more dear than kin, most place as much value on watching the Leafs and Senators as they put on preserving the legacy of Scott Baio.

Anti-sporting types will argue there is no reason to put any stock in something that is so clearly the opiate of the masses. Hey, I took MIT; I'm hip to the idea that certain things exist just to distract you from paying attention to what really matters. Take Rosie O'Donnell for example.

However, when debating the legitimacy of sports, my jock background wins out over my conspiracy theory teachings. Sports contain all the lessons one needs to lead an enlightened life.

Don't believe me? Fine. However, you can't deny the intrinsic wisdom in the words of some of sports most insightful athletes. For example...

"It aint over 'til it's over."
– Yogi Berra

Undoubtedly sports' – and life's – simplest and truest creed. Whether you're down by four runs in the bottom of the ninth or just took a severe ass kicking on your MCATS, don't ever be convinced your latest setback is the final chapter. No hurdle is insurmountable.

"You should always play hard, because not matter what, somebody is watching you for the first time and somebody is watching you for the last time, and you wouldn't want to send either one of them home disappointed."
– Joe DiMaggio

Even the most seemingly mundane people and things in life deserve your full attention. Glossing over the events of your life negates the possibility that you will uncover that thing, or person, you should really be focusing on. When you explore things that might otherwise go unnoticed, you often gain new perspective and sometimes even new direction. Aside from that, you have to give serious consideration to anything DiMaggio has ever said, if for no other reason than he was able to talk his way into Marilyn Monroe's bed.

– Rocky Balboa

I must admit, during the high times in my sporting life, I rarely felt the need for any other sources of happiness. However, there are bound to be far more valleys than peaks in any aspect of life and, in those times of need, you're going to require more than a hockey jersey to keep you warm. Having a loyal companion by your side can take the swelling out of a 15 round beating. Even when you're experiencing a sporting high, it's imperative to have that one special teammate with you. Who else are you going to brag to when you score a hat trick in the beer league championship?

"I am the greatest."
– Muhammad Ali

There is no point in living your life believing anything less. This is not a statement of arrogance, but rather self-preservation. We suffer so many setbacks in life that it becomes far too easy to question our own abilities. That is a mistake. Self-doubt is natural, but to keep it from ruining your life, you must take Ali's words to heart. If necessary, believe in them to the point of self-delusion, because that is much better than the alternative.


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