I was raised in a Midwestern State where High School Basketball is "King".
The entire State shuts down the night of the State Championship game!
We adopted the town we live in now because in many ways, the atmosphere here is similar to where I grew up. (And the town I grew up in has changed so much, I couldn't stand to live there!)
But Pro Sports are king here, and I don't understand why.
It's normal to have someone start a conversation with you by saying, "how 'bout them "Sparrows"?
To me, the "Sparrows" are just another big business. I haven't checked their roster lately, but the last time I looked, the "Sparrows" had a Japanese pitcher, a Santa Domingan shortstop, and a catcher from Outer Slobovia!
What do I have in common with these folks, and why should I get emotionally involved with them?
Why do they play the game? Could it be the $1,500,000 average salary these fellas are being paid?
Someone may as well start the conversation with me by asking, "How 'bout that General Electric.......ain't they somethin'?"
Now, High School ball is a different story.
If you're involved, you know the players and their families from top to bottom. A kid might even be on the field because of advice, or some other form of support you gave him/her.
And he/she is on the playing field for one reason: the love of the game.
Granted, some may also hope to help defray College costs with a scholarship, or maybe even one day be paid the big bucks to play for the "Sparrows", but most kids know that's just a dream. The work they devote to the game shows loyalty to the team and the school.
When I'm asked "how 'bout them 'Sparrows'?, my answer is generally "Why should I care?"
I've never gotten a satisfactory answer to the question.
Am I missing something?