Roundtable Discussion: Five Fans Tell "Why I Love My Sport"

Adam BarrCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2009

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01:  Fans support Lleyton Hewitt of Australia during his men's singles quarter final match against Andy Roddick of USA on Day Nine of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 1, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

We all think our sport is the best. We may follow many sports, but there is always one that has a particular place in our hearts. Here, five different fans of five different sports provide their take on the sport that is their passion.

Kimberley NashFootball

I have struggled with this statement for days now because, well, what isn't great about football?

Let me lay it out there for you. I am not a fan of the sport. It's not a passing fancy or a seasonal attention-getter—uh—football is life for me.

I breathe it in during the season, and when it's no longer there, I no longer know how to fill the void.

Sure, there are ways to kill the time: NFL Draft talk, pre-season prognostications, Organized Team Activities (OTAs), mini-camps, etc.

All serve the purpose of giving me my dose, but none satisfy me like the actual season.

Bring me the big hits, the great runs, the playmakers, the pageantry, and the passion. The game can not be encapsulated in a word or a cliché.

It's Walter Payton. It's Reggie White. It's Sammy Baugh. It's Joe Greene. It's Tom Brady. It's Hines Ward. It's Vince Lombardi.

It's about the history and the hard-core nature of each team's fans.

It's about playing the game hard for 60+ minutes and leaving absolutely nothing on the field.

In short, football is about turning an inch into a yard. It's about making "the catch"—no matter how improbable. It's about playing hard for the other 10 guys on the field because there is no such thing as "saying die" as long as there is time left on the clock.

It's men playing hard for the glory—contracts be damned.

So, what's the best thing about football in one word?



Joe BurgettWrestling

What I love about professional wrestling would have to be the entertainment it brings.

It is not a sport as we all know; however, it is sports entertainment. It brings a sport-like feel with the matches, and then they provide entertainment with storylines.
There is no ladder match or Hell in a Cell match in football or MMA.
Sure, since they are competitions, other sports are naturally entertaining.
But professional wrestling can make you feel as if you're watching a TV show similar to House, How I Met Your Mother, or Lie to Me. Despite knowing that the event is scripted, you become emotionally invested in seeing who will win, which is unknown to the spectator. That is entertaining to watch.
Then, you see athletic ability that you would see in a sport like basketball, football, or MMA.
When you watch a good wrestling match, you become engrossed in the potential outcome and the display of athleticism. So, it's the best of both worlds if you will.
It bring the sports aspect along with a TV-show feel. It's all entertainment, which is fun to watch.
Adam BarrSoccer
What is the thing about football that makes it so compelling?
It's one thing—the competitive nature of the sport. Each game is usually decided by one or two-goal margin, and often, games finish in a draw. This provides compelling action, as each game is fought to the end because there is almost always the opportunity to rescue a result from the game.
This competition provides frenetic action with players giving their all for their clubs—not playing for the money, but for their teammates, their fans, and their clubs.
One word applies to football—global. But "local" applies, too. The fans show just as much passion for their respective teams from Brazil to Bath City FC.
So, why do I follow football incessantly?
Is it the intrigue, the history, or the action? It's all of these things.
But, most of all, I follow football for basically every aspect of it—from the players to the fans, from the dedication to a club to the World Cup.
I love it all.

In the early 1990's, my sons and I began to watch MMA. The first matches had no time limits and were very ruthless, with far fewer rules than today's MMA. The reforms which have been made since then were much welcomed in my opinion, and helped to legitimize the sport in the eyes of the world.

As a sixty-three-year-old mother of two grown sons, who were involved in martial arts and both wrestled in high school, the grandmother of six children, four of whom have been in karate, and two grandsons who love the sport of wrestling—I have a special affinity for the sport of MMA.

Ever since the first time I saw Georges St-Pierre fighting in Canada and tried to understand what the French commentator was saying, I have known that MMA had become my favorite sport. 
St-Pierre had "GRAND HOTEL" printed in black paint on his back at the fight, and put on an outstanding performance.
Watching him, even after he signed with the UFC, has been like watching a beautiful new type of combat dancing. He is so graceful and has such fine-tuned kinesthetic sense in knowing where his body is in relation to his opponent. He has no false starts and appears as if every move has been choreographed in order to have the most-devastating effect upon his opponents.
Since I was a Professional Physical Education major in college, I can fully appreciate how much conditioning and control it takes to perform on such a high level in every fight.
Seeing the human body in performance of Mixed Martial Arts can be very beautiful, and St-Pierre's moves never cease to amaze me.
Although other fighters, especially Anderson Silva, have come close to St-Pierre's style. Rush will continue to be my favorite fighter in my favorite sport.
Bob WarjaBaseball
This game sucks you in like a squeegee, fills you with hope and joy, then rips your heart out and makes you watch. Yes, that’s baseball, and I love it.

Watching a baseball game is much like riding a roller coaster; the highs and lows of the lead changing hands during a game is akin to the thrill of an amusement park.

It’s like a drug—as quickly as the high comes, you get the crash of reality spilling all over your favorite team.

And, ultimately, you are left at home watching someone else win the World Series.

Still, you enjoyed the ride.

Baseball is something handed down from father to son; something that becomes more than just a game and ends up becoming your best friend and worst enemy. All the while, you beg for more.

It’s the crack of the bat and the smell of the freshly cut grass. It’s the thrill of the big fly, and it’s the excitement of a pitcher’s duel. 

It’s a thinking man’s game; one that seems slow and sleepy. Yet, it is always punctuated by strategy and intensity. It’s a game within a game.

It’s a quirky game, filled with superstition and steeped in tradition; and, occasionally—no matter how long you've been watching—you will see something you've never seen before.

There’s a long history filled with statistics that truly mean something; and it’s a marathon of a season so there is always hope regardless of how your favorite team did on a given day.

It’s athletic and graceful; yet, at the same time, it can be frustrating and maddening, But, it doesn’t matter because it’s baseball—the American pastime.

It’s simply the greatest game in the world.

Thanks for reading. I would like to extend a special thank you to this article's contributors. Every bit of their effort was truly appreciated, and their contributions have lived up to everything I had hoped for and more.
But what do you think?


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