Monday, January 10, 2011
If you are a long time reader of this blog, you have probably heard this before. I used to be a HUGE sports fan.
Don't get me wrong, I am still a sports fan. I always will be. Leopards don't lose their spots. However, there was a time for me when it was more like an obsession. My emotions would literally shoot to the highest reaches, then plunge to the deepest depths like the proverbial roller coaster, based on how my teams were doing at that moment. And there were a lot of those moments.
What was the problem? Well, let's just say being a Seattle sports fan recently has been akin to hopping a coaster in which you get in, and it simply drives you slowly around in a circle before depositing you back where you started. Sure, there have been athletic successes in my city over the past half decade, but precious few.
That fact, combined with the decisions Mrs. LIAYF and I made to get rid of television in our home when Lukas was born, has led to my distancing myself from watching spectator sports. And when I say distancing, I mean that I hadn't watched a game all year long. Baseball, Basketball, Football. This from the guy who used to fall asleep to Sportscenter, and then turn it back on the next morning to once again watch the highlights. In short, I have done a complete 180 in my viewing habits
Save for a few instances where I heard about something spectacular after the fact, I haven't minded. I have traded planning my weekends around the games that are on, to planning them around what I can do with Mrs. LIAYF and Lukas. And it has been tremendous. Being there, in the moment, with my son while watching him grow and learn without that added distraction has created moments and memories which have been many of the best in my life.
However, as I look back on my life I realize that there are other events I have witnessed which are seared into my memory and which bring up a flood of positive emotions with them as I remember. Edgar Martinez doubling home the winning runs for the Mariners in '95 against the Yankees. The US Gold medal Hockey game in Lake Placid in 1980. Doug Fluties Hail Mary pass against Miami. Man those were great plays. It makes me happy to remember witnessing them.
I had another such experience Saturday. Although I had been a terrible football fan, not watching a game all year, I ventured out to a local sports bar while Lukas napped to watch a playoff game. One that I was sure would be over by the time I got there. As it turned out, that was certainly not the case.
I pulled up a chair in between two other fans and watched what was one of the most improbable games I have ever watched as my hometown Seahawks, who came into the game as the first team in playoff history with a losing record, won an intense and dramatic game against the heavily favored defending Super Bowl Champion.
And better yet, the win was sealed sealed by one of the greatest individual plays I have witnessed. The place where I watched was nothing short of electric. Swelling with the type of emotion that comes from watching the improbable happen. This was one of games, and experiences, I won't soon forget.
As Lukas gets older, I certainly don't want to let spectator sports get in the way of spending real and quality time with him. On weekend afternoons, we should be be hiking or biking or playing catch instead of watching games. But with that said there also should be room carved into our schedule for catching a few important games. They can be a lot of fun. I can't forget this.
After all, lasting memories are formed through a variety of experiences.
Posted by James (SeattleDad) at 5:00 AM