PROMPT # 8
SPORTS. Strange to suggest a prompt inspired by something that is shut down at the moment, but even without live sports happening 24/7 there is so much content to learn from and enjoy. If you don’t think sports of any kind interest you, hang in there, I’ve got a few ideas that consider sports in a larger historical context. I also encourage you to give different things a try. Who knows, maybe you’ve been waiting your whole life for some sweet hockey highlights? Perhaps you are more of a gymnastics enthusiast? Or maybe competitive log rolling peaks your interest? Also, dog shows count as sport!!
I’ll preface this by saying I love competitive sports. I played competitive sports for most of my young adult life and I’ll go see nearly any sport in person, and could be convinced to watch even competitive bird watching on tv. I love competition. In fact, a good deal of my inspiration for Zelma Rose comes from watching hours of skateboarding videos. I’m still trying to figure out how all that translates. I’m not sure it matters. Some of the most stressful and grief laden times in my life have been eased by throwing myself deep into baseball stats, the agony of being a Knicks fan, and the complete and total domination of the GOAT, Serena Williams. Sports take me away. And right now that sounds like a good thing.
I'll share three different sport based daily practice ideas with you today, along with a more standard These Three Things prompt related to sports. All ideas can be mixed and matched. Carried on consecutively, or out of order. Just start somewhere.
1. Stats addict. Anyone else? I am obsessed with stats. Baseball specifically, but in most sports, stats are fascinating. Following the numbers of a particular player or being attentive to how stats are used to inform draft picks. I love it all. If you are a sports fan, create a daily practice around collecting stats on your favorite players. Perhaps start with one player, learn a stat a day, then move on to another. Compare the stats. This can be done for nearly any sport. Even dog shows!! Wins versus losses, away verses home performance. There are so many! Don’t have a particular athlete in mind? Think of someone who dominates their field. Exactly how good was Michael Jordan? Does he compare to LeBron James? What about Muhammad Ali? Was he really greatest of all time? Martina Navratilova? Simone Biles? See where their accomplishments stand in history. You can do this with teams too! How about the San Francisco Giants from 2010-2014?
2. Historic matchups. Can’t decide on a player? What about educating yourself on a classic matchup? The 1986 World Series. Ali versus Frazier. The 1980 Miracle on Ice. There are so many. Pick one and watch a little each day. I have no doubt that one of these historic competitions will inspire you to find your next matchup.
3. Rich history. Anyone who says that politics have no place in sports has not watched a lot of sports. Politics have always played a prominent role in sports. Whether it is the Women’s US Soccer Team’s recent fight for equal pay, Colin Kaepernick taking a knee to bring attention to racial injustice, or the historic raised fists of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics. Sports set the stage for a platform to discuss society's progress or lack thereof. Choose a political sports moment and dive deep into everything you can. Discover who the players are, the impact of their actions on their particular sport and society at large. Trust me, it's fascinating!
Sports Related Prompt
List three athletes or teams that make you believe in invincibility. It can be anyone, any sport, from any time in history. You can include what makes them so special or not. Just start. I'll begin.
1. The Core Four. New York Yankees. Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera were drafted and signed as amateurs by the Yankees in the early 1990s. They all spent their entire careers with the New York Yankees, with the exception of Petitte, who left and returned several times. The Core Four played a critical role in the creation of the modern day Yankee Dynasty, helping the team win four World Series Championships in five years. Mariano Rivera is a favorite in our house. When my daughter was still holding on at 42 weeks during my pregnancy we nicknamed her The Closer and tried to coax her out by playing Enter Sandman. It didn't work, but we still call her The Closer.
2. The 1994 New York Rangers. They won the Stanley Cup that year. Mark Messier was a household name and my friend got to skate out on the ice holding the Stanley Cup in his hands. Good stuff!
3. The 1986 New York Mets. I can still name every single player on that team. I was at game 6. In fact this is a great game to watch if you want to give prompt number 2 above a try.
Also, this is my prized baseball signed by Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry.
What did you learn today? Join me by using the #thesethreethings and commenting below with your own These Three Things. I want to hear what you are learning, laughing about, and living through.