It is possible to find meaning in being a sports fan. It can be more than just sitting on your couch, eating potato chips and cheering on your favorite team.
We all should use examples or metaphors in our lives to help motivate us to be the best we can be. It is why the great works of literature have stood the test of time. Although they may have been written hundred of years ago, the themes of these works are universal about what it means to be human. After reading them, the main hope is you have gained a little wisdom. Through fiction, the writers create characters with strengths and weaknesses that, when we look hard enough, we may be able to find in ourselves. Great movies and other works of art do the same thing.
The same principle can be applied in many areas of life, even in the apparent futile endeavor of watching other people play sports.
In recent years, one of the most obvious athletes we can learn from is Tiger Woods.
Tiger Woods, seemingly, had everything any person in the world would ever want. He had fame, accomplishment and more money than most third world countries. But, through his own undoing, he made a complete mess of things.
But, what did he do about it?
He apologized, learned from it, got back up on his feet and came back even stronger than ever. This is what we all should aspire to do when we make our own costly mistakes!
I also see the intrinsic value in following your favorite sports teams. My favorite team is the Memphis Tigers, and, deep down, I know that there is a high probability that they will never win a national championship in my life.
But, so what.
Many people are just like the Memphis Tigers. We will probably never fulfill our ultimate dreams, but that sure as heck does not mean they are not worth striving for. If you have a goal in your life that is honest and virtuous, even just attempting it has plenty of meaning.
On a larger scale, I believe this is the danger of not looking for the inherent goodness of things and people. If you see nothing but wickedness in everything, how can you ever use them as an example for your own life?
Take our country, for example.
You can view it as either a noble idea, created by fallible men, that has helped to advance the idea of freedom throughout the world. Or, you can view it as a tyrannical creation that was rotten to the core.
If you take the latter position, you certainly can make some valid points, but I don’t know where we go from there as both individuals or as country.
In order to figure out how to live life the right way, we need examples. Whether they are George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., Atticus Finch or Tiger Woods.
David W. Healy is the sports editor of the Delta Democrat-Times. He can be reached at email@example.com