It’s October, tons of things are happening in the sports world, and I simply don’t know what to write about.
I could be the thousandth columnist to express his joy about baseball coming back to D.C. Or I could write a tongue-in-cheek piece praising the due process of law Ravens halfback Jamal Lewis received through his recent plea-bargain agreement.
I could try to make predictions on the upcoming Barry Bonds-less MLB playoffs. I could set an over/under on when the NHL lockout will end, and take bets from any and all readers.
And if I were to give credit where credit is really due, I would jump all over the fact that the No. 9 AU Field Hockey team truly arrived on the national scene this weekend, sending No. 3 Maryland to a 3-1 defeat in College Park, Md.
But sometimes you’re just not feeling it. Sometimes it’s hard to get excited over what are just children’s games, even for the most passionate of all fans, players and coaches.
That’s where I am right now. I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not worried. I’m just honest.
I know that at some point in the future, an NFL Sunday is going to come, and I am going to be excited like old times, like when a distant relative is comes to visit from the mother country.
I know that March Madness basketball will bloom again with the spring flowers. And I know it will be all I can do to finish a lit paper instead of gluing myself to a televised first-round game between Mississippi State and Western Kentucky.
And I’m even pretty confident that when the World Cup of soccer comes around in the summer after my graduation, I will have four VCRs set so that regardless of my job (hopefully I’ll have one), I don’t miss a single second of what to me is the greatest event - sporting or otherwise - on the planet.
Right now, however, life calls me to deal with things a bit heavier than sport. As those burdens buzz around in my brain, the Steelers-Bengals game on TV is little more than background noise. And when my Ravens line up Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs, I’ll be watching, but with the knowledge that when the game is over, Al Michaels is going to sign off the air.
I know that, barring some violent revolution, those sports will be there when I am ready to foolishly plunge my heart, soul and wallet into them again.
I will still know where all my favorite local teams play, how to get to their ballparks and arenas, and how to get tickets. I know that so long as I come sober and unarmed, and before the seats sell out, they’re not going to turn me away. And if they do, there is always a lower-level college game, or even a District high school battle, that will take me in when the professionals won’t.
In the end, isn’t that what we all love about sports? That guaranteed inclusion. That feeling that, while you have very little in common with your neighbor, you can hug him when the Maryland Terrapins win the NCAA basketball title. And you can sob on her shoulder when they come so close, only to miss out, the following year. And you can laugh about all the funny stuff coach Gary Williams screamed in between.
While some of us root for brides, and others root for bridesmaids, in the end they never let us down, simply because they are there, wedded to a trophy or not.
So for now, the NFL season and the MLB playoffs can go on as scheduled. I won’t be paying that much attention until I’m ready to.
Instead, I will be shooting for that unrealistic goal sport sets for humans. Despite my insecurities, I will try to trust that, like my favorite teams, my favorite people will always be there for me when it is time to root them on again.
More importantly, I will strive to be a good general manager of myself, so my main gate will always swing open to any loved ones who wish to come.