My husband loves baseball. It's a huge passion for him. We have a room in our house dedicated to sports and much of it is baseball related (he calls it a unisex cave because he likes me to participate!).
In the lead up to opening day, my husband binge watches baseball movies to get himself all psyched up. In the past few days I've watched many Kevin Costner movies and I feel like I've grown fond of him. I suspect he is a man who loves baseball as much as my husband does.
I'm not a baseball fan, but I love football and I love the life lessons that are learned on sports teams. One of my favorite TV series is Friday Night Lights with Kyle Chandler. In that series, you see Chandler as coach Taylor help young men overcome challenges and build their character. In the same way, these baseball movies depict people overcoming odds, making tough decisions, and working as a team to achieve their dreams. I can get down with that.
I'm a competitive person and I've always felt that in watching sports I can sort of vicariously release the competitive tension inside me. I love the struggle. In A League of Their Own Dottie tells the coach that baseball has gotten too hard. The coach, played by Tom Hanks (my favorite!) replies, "The hard is what makes it great." I feel like that's true about so many things.
I also love how sports can bring us together. I have bonded with people that I have nothing in common with except sports. Even when we disagree on the team, we can get on board for the love of the game. Another great Costner movie!
I work with quite a few Cubs fans and my parents were both Cubs fans all my life. One lady I work with has a shirt that says "Just One Before I Die" in reference to the "curse" the Cubs faced. Despite not being a baseball fan and not caring much about the Cubs as a team, I was so happy that my dad did get to see that one. It was one of those jubilant, once in a lifetime moments for a longtime sports fans. The Cubs won their curse breaking World Series just two months before he passed away. I stayed up late that night to cheer for them.
Last night I watched Draft Day with my husband - another Costner film that I think is my favorite so far. I love the tension, the risks, the instinct. My favorite part was the revelation of what was written on the note. At the end, he looked like a genius. But I love the process it took him to get there.
Because in so many ways, that is life.