By Bo Allegrucci
It's fall, and fall is when I fall in love with sports all over again. Some people don’t understand why I love sports the way I do. They just can’t fathom calling in sick to watch game seven. They can’t empathize with a fan spending his entire vacation and most of his savings to follow his alma mater to the college world series. They can’t believe I schedule my entire Saturday around Miami Hurricane games throughout the fall. They can’t relate to a person whose wardrobe allows him to go half the year without wearing the same jersey twice. They would never be able to justify the cost of season tickets. Sure, real life is more important than sports, but they were dumbfounded when I found that dumb. They could never rationalize spending an entire Thanksgiving on the couch in front of a TV, and they can’t comprehend someone making $25,000 as a sports writer instead of $50,000 as a sheep.
When faced with the obligation of such a complex explanation, I often resort to poetry, and that’s when they know it’s me … that’s when they notice me. Sports may not make cents to them; sports might not mean much to them; sports isn’t school, church or work to them, but sports are to me what all those are to them. I study sports in lessons, I work within sports for little or no wealth, I have few favorite teams but I worship the game itself. When you have an athlete in your blood and a fan in your heart, sports are your life, and ‘til death do you part.
I love sports because basketball, football and hockey teams all have centers, and Notre Dame, Holy Cross and St. John’s all have sinners.
You don’t always pick on someone your own size because size doesn’t always pick the winners.
I love sports because guards are big on the football field yet small on the basketball court, and the NBA is short on true centers but a true center will never be short.
I love sports because driving the lane has nothing to do with your car, and even the worst player in the pro’s was a high school star.
La Crosse is both a game and a town, and “pitch” can be a verb or a noun.
I love sports because good coverage has nothing to do with insurance, and perseverance at its purest comes at the end of your endurance.
I love sports because folks without green cards get yellow and red cards, and your favorite player will buy a dozen homes after he gets a thousand yards.
I love sports because you always know what the game looks like but you never know what you'll see. Free throws are often costly and free agents are never free.
I love sports because 100 miles-an-hour won’t get you a ticket, and they even named an insect after a game called cricket.
I love sports because you can foul out in baseball and bat four more times, but foul out in basketball and you’re riding the pine.
A benchwarmer shoots 30 percent from the 3-point line but an all-star hits a baseball 30 percent of the time.
I love sports because your rival tomorrow was your teammate today, and ‘Magic’ was an expansion club in Orlando but a legend in L.A.
I love sports because men cry their eyes out and slap each other on the butt, but they only stop bleeding when they finally get cut.
I love sports because the drunk guy behind you always has a point when he opens his mouth, and the great-grandchildren of slaves and slave-owners wear the same colors in the same section every Saturday in the south..
I love sports because ‘tackle’ can be a noun or a verb, an ace can be a pitcher or a serve, and some saves take a tenth of a second while others go an inning and a third.
I love sports because there’s a Hurricane in Tulsa and a hockey team in the desert, and wherever your team calls home there will always be storms to weather.
A safety can score a safety, and if your offense is struggling like that you won’t want to debate me.
I love sports because a pre-game shot in the elbow can help you hit the game-winning shot from the elbow, and it can’t be a foul ball if the ball hit the foul pole.
You can have a 1-0 lead in anything but football, and while you avoid the penalty box in hockey, you do your best to get there in futbol.
I love sports because Dominican immigrants with broken English and black men with high school diplomas make $100 million over four years. You’re in your prime by 29 but age 38 seems to crumble careers.
I love sports because you must know who’s playing to know the score, and you’re only a seasoned veteran because of last season’s war.
A struggling baseball team might get its order sacked, while a nickel or a dime might be enough change to waste your quarterback.
I love sports because all the players want a ring on their finger, and Keena Turner was neither a woman nor a singer.
Goal tending is illegal in basketball but vital in hockey and soccer, and if my girlfriend tries to understand that I won't try to stop her.
I love sports because field goals are up to 63 yards on the gridiron but less than 94 feet on the hardwood, and a credit card couldn’t put your kids through college back when a baseball card could.
I love sports because they’ll fire your manager if you don’t produce, and love equals zero but match point can never be deuce.
I love sports because statistics never lie, and we all know that isn’t true.
I love sports because I can hate your team and still love you.