Sunday, August 29, 2010

For the Love of the Game

As the month of August draws to a close students and teachers around the globe have their minds wrapped around the idea of school approaching only days away. With the summer days slowly falling behind us, we find ourselves losing our fight and exuberance for the excitement and freedom of summer. Our "get up and go" attitude slowly diminishes, for we know school is just around the corner. However, there are still two hundred some odd kids still thriving in the summer sunlight and in the night's warm breezes. In the town of Williamsport, PA, there is a haven for any child that loves the game of baseball, and for these two hundred kids, it is a dream come true.
From all over the world kids from the age of eleven to thirteen, contend yearly in regional tournaments in hopes to make it to Williamsport and to the Little League World Series. There are fifty thousand Little League programs around the world, and only sixteen make it to the coveted fields of Williamsport.

To some there is nothing greater than professional sports. However, in professional sports today there is cheating, scandals, and greed. There is only one thing that drives these little leaguers to play the game of baseball, love. It is undoubtable that in every little leaguer's heart contains a love for the game of baseball. Instead of being driven by money, fame, and records, these kids are seen playing the game with a passion that we see rarely in professional athletes, the drive that every athlete once had. Williamsport has players striving toward victory that is driven by a love for a game that they hope will never come to an end.
As the LLWS drew to a close today with Japan defeating Hawaii in the championship game, the kids from the sixteen teams will return to ordinary life and begin to ready themselves for the upcoming school year and Williamsport will only be a memory they will someday share with their children.

For most, the summer of 2010 was an ordinary summer, but to two hundred-forty kids it will be a memory that will last a lifetime.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Dedication To Kevin Fennell

On Friday night at the A's game, more than just a lesson on how to pick up girls was learned by anyone who picked up on it. As much of a sports maniac as I am, I'm probably the only one who connected the dots in such a way. I recall a lesson, strategy, or whatever you want to call it from the ball boy. For those of you who missed it, as foul balls gradually rolled to the ball boy Kevin Fennell, he nonchalantly walked over to the stands and gracefully gave the baseballs to the women sitting a few rows back, Jackie Lynch. Four balls were fouled off near Fennell and all four went not to the countless children sitting near by, but to Lynch. By the end of the night, Fennell did indeed receive her number and plans to go on a date tonight to Lynch's favorite restaurant. Clearly a successfully planned scheme by Fennell. What can i say, the kids got balls.

Back to the whole connection to sports thing. If Fennell hadn't taken the risk in the first place there would be no success. Sure, if there was no attempt there would be no failure, but without risk there can be no success. Risk is to me what makes sports, sports. If every team and every athlete out there played it safe, there would be no draw to the games that we love as fans. The sole factor to "interesting" games is the ability of both athletes and mangers to take risks during the game.

There comes a point in every game when a manager/athlete must make a game altering decision, to dive for the ball or let it one hop to you, to sub this player for that player or leave him in. Sports are built around a persons ability to change the game itself. Although we find that some risks hinder the team's shot at winning, the mistake helps the opponent to gain an advantage for the time being. In this case, we see a huge risk has paid off and from an unsuspected "player", if he qualifies as such. Hats off to Kevin.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And With The First Selection In The 2010 Draft...

In an endless world of sports comes an endless world of opinions on sports. With every action and outcome in sports comes a reaction of those who watch. Every Average Joe out there that watches sports or at least has  an interest knows that their opinion differs from the next Average Joe. So one would think, that a sixteen year old aspiring writer, that both plays and watches sports must have an opinion like the rest of them.
This is undoubtably true.
With every pitch, pass, and punt follows an opinion only moments after being concocted in this very head. There is only one thing in this world that makes my mind tick in such a way, sports.

There is only one purpose and one purpose only of this blog and that is to practice. I was told on countless occasions "no newspaper or magazine will hire a sports writer that doesn't know how to write". If one day I wish to become a writer, a little practice is needed. Hopefully, at some point the practice pays off.  As said before, every watcher of sports has an opinion, mine can be found here. From soccer pitches in England to baseball stadiums in California, I am likely to have an opinion.

The way I see it, everyone needs to start somewhere. Athletes and writers alike all start somewhere. Athletes in backyards and playing fields and writers at desks or on computers. My career starts here, on the blog.

I suppose no progress is made without criticism, comments, or God forbid complaints. I  am looking forward to reading comments from anyone who has the interest in reading. Hopefully, this post is only the first of many as I hope to begin an endless chain of sports blogging.