As fans, we spend a lot of time griping about whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wrong with sports. Just tune in to WFAN one night and you may think the world is ending every time Joba takes the mound.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why once in a while, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great to see something that makes you remember why the world of sports can be such a captivating and magical thing. For me, it was on a New Jersey Transit bus en route to New York that took a detour through the Giants Stadium parking lot , while fans tailgated before the annual Giants-Jets preseason game.
Living in the shadow of Giants Stadium, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always been fascinated by the football culture in this area, and how it seems to take on a life of its own every fall. This will be further examined by this site at a later date.
The other day, the bus stopped in the parking lot to pick up passengers, and for a minute or two, I watched a father with a backwards hat and what I believe was a Mathias Kiwanuka jersey tossing a football to his two daughters, who couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have been more than three years old, both wearing Eli Manning jerseys and cute as a button. Try as they might, the two little girls couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t catch the ball, while the father expressed light-hearted exasperation while pantomiming how to cradle the ball against his body.
I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think those little girls fully understood what they were there for. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not going to recall the score of the game, where they sat, or who the Giants were playing. They couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care less about PlaxicoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s guns, who starts at receiver or how much money Eli makes.
But I guarantee theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll always remember playing catch before the Giants game with dad.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what sports does for us. When you cut away all the Plaxicos, Vicks and Favres, all the A-Rods, Mannys and Big Papis Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you have the experiences that you share with those you love.
We get so caught up with wins and losses, payrolls and free agents, draft picks and salary caps. Meanwhile, none of that is what sports is about, or at least what it should be about.
Just try to remember that the next time you hear Lenny from Manhattan on WFAN screaming about firing everyone on the Mets.
Sports can be so much more than we make it out to be.