Touch 'Em All: Find the best in sports, and life
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 00:05
In about two weeks, I’ll embark on a journey into what some call “the real world,” with a degree in hand and a job … well, not.
The market for sports journalists is small, and my search is still young, but the last few months have been trying for me as I wrestled with the idea of why sports matter and what good I can do in the world with my work.
Maybe it’s the delayed impact of the service-learning assignments I’ve procrastinated on through eight semesters at Duquesne, but it seems so obvious to me that not only my future work, but all of our future work, should be done with an effort to make this Earth a little bit nicer of a place to live.
So I very unscientifically polled those around me, asking “why do sports matter?” and found the responses to be varied, but ultimately reassuring. It seemed as though the recurring theme was that sports can bring out the best in humanity. Whether it’s teamwork, perseverance or an entire planet in awe of the physical abilities of the world’s best athlete in their element, sports tend to draw something positive out of people.
Last week, I was lucky enough to speak with the voice of the Steelers, Bill Hillgrove, and ask him my question, too. Hillgrove said his favorite aspect of sports is the identity that a team creates, which, for an organization such as the Steelers, can span an entire country.
“People want to identify with something positive,” he said.
If you know me, I’ve had a difficult time living in this city as a Philadelphia fan surrounded by black and gold. But I think after four years, I’ve come to appreciate that Pittsburgh’s three teams are the glue that hold a massive community together, allowing for either celebration or disappointment, but always as one.
Without a doubt, professional and even amateur athletics have their problems. But to me, the fan identification, the entertainment and the realization of the potential of man’s abilities bring back the purity of what many of us first enjoyed as kids.
To those graduating seniors, and those who will be there in a blink of an eye, I challenge you to make the most of your career choice and always seek the best in yourself, and in others.
In all things you do, attempt to identify with something positive, even if it has to be the Steelers.