I’m a big sports fan. There is not a sport I don’t enjoy watching or playing. I think it’s a great way to get exercise and a great teacher of important life lessons. There are some teams that will always hold special places in my heart, meaning the teams from Boston. Especially the Red Sox, Patriots, and BU Terriers. And as a Boston sports fan, I’ve been able to enjoy a lot of good teams in all sports in my lifetime. I admit I am spoiled, especially compared to my Dad, who lived through the hardest years of the Red Sox “Curse of the Bambino”. It’s a lot of fun winning. It seems like every year, one of my teams is competing for a championship. I’m ok with this.
Since moving to the house we have now, I’ve watched at least one championship game or series for all three of the teams mentioned above on the television in my basement. The first was in 2007 when the Red Sox beat the Colorado Rockies to win the World Series. The second was in 2008, when the Patriots painfully lost the Super Bowl to the Giant. The third was tonight when the BU Men’s basketball team played American University for the Patriot League championship. Each of these games taught me something.
The Red Sox victory in 2007 taught me what it’s like to win. It’s really nice. I also learned that trust in people around me is crucial. In the series, the Sox used every person on their roster. Emblematic of that was Bobby Kielty. He was acquired by the Red Six at mid season as a back up outfielder. He didn’t get a lot of playing time, as he was behind people like Manny Ramirez. He was kept on the roster because he was tough and hit left handed pitchers well. In game 4 of the World Series, the Sox were leading 3-2 and Kielty came in as a pitch hitter against a lefty, saw one pitch and hit it for a home run. The Sox won the game 4-3, Kielty’s homer being the winning run. Kielty had a job to do, the Sox trusted him, and he did his job.
The second game, Super Bowl 42, between the Patriots and Giants, was a painful game. The 18-0 Patriots were shut down and beaten by the underdog Giants. It hurt watching my team, the best in football, lose to an inferior team. The lesson that comes from that game is not to disrespect any opponent. They want to win too. They have some skill too. There’s no way you can win without recognizing that you can be beat. It’s impossible to win without recognizing the possibility of failing. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s needed.
The third game was tonight’s game between BU and American. BU lost and could barely hit the side of the rim, let alone get a basket, in the second half. BU lost the game and the Patriot League championship to American 55-36. I like the BU team and I like going to their games, but they played terribly tonight. The thing that bothered me was that they kept shooting and missing 3 pointers. I was yelling at the TV, “Stop shooting 3’s! It’s not working!” And I was right. It wasn’t working. The lesson to take is to not keep doing something that’s not working.
While I prefer watching my team win championships, I like when my team is in it. It’s always fun to watch your team compete for the title, and there are many lessons to be learned from those games. For all those reasons, watching the BU game tonight tips my list of happy things.