People always ask me, “Pedro, when are you going to grow up and write about something important? When are you going to stop writing about sports and start writing articles about important things in life that can be on The Wall Street Journal, or The New York Times?” For a very long time I didn’t’ know what to say to these people, I would simply smile, and say “Oh, I don’t know yet”, but after months of thinking and research I’ve finally realized the answer to this question… “Never”.
Are you out of your mind? You will never make it, why do you continue to be hard-headed and write about sports? Simple, I believe in it.
I believe in the power of sports. I believe that a sport has the power to stop a war, like it did during the 2006 World Cup in Serbia and Montenegro. The country was in turmoil, civil war broke loose but when the country received word that they will be playing the World Cup, the war stopped (at least for that month).
Sports is real, you can’t fake your way in, there is no “back door”. If you are Julia Roberts daughter, and you want to be an actress, you will be an actress. If you are Bristol Palin and you want to be in politics, because of your mother, you will. Because of your family’s last name, you have the opportunity to be anything… but not in sports.
Just because your name is Marcus Jordan and you are the son of the great Michael Jordan, it does not mean you will be in the NBA. Jose and Ozzie Canseco are twins, they both played in the MLB, Jose played 1,887 games in the show, Ozzie only played 24. Just because you are related to someone famous, it doesn’t make you that person.
There is compassion in sports. The strong and powerful take care of the small and weak. I read on ESPN the Magazine a while back, about this High School football team from Illinois. The team was losing, and the star player broke free from the tackles and had nothing but open grass for him to run and score the touchdown. But, when he got to the one yard line, he stepped out of bounds. The reason? He and the rest of his teammates wanted to give a chance to their autistic teammate to score his only touchdown of his life. When was the last time you saw that in Wall Street?
As Rick Reilly said, sports is Oprah for guys. Reilly told readers about a story about a son and a dad that had not talked for years because of something that happened between them, but as soon as the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, the son went home, hugged the dad and they both laughed and talked all night about the game. Again folks, only in sports will you see this.
Sports is about three things: Loyalty, love and family. You are a Celtics fan because Grandpa Joe was a Celtics fan and he installed that love for the Celtics in your father James which in turn was handed to you. No matter what anyone says you are forever going to be a Boston Celtics fan no matter if they win or lose.
Sports is the great equalizer. Whether you are rich or poor, black or white, yellow or brown, sports brings you together. Once you step foot in a stadium, it doesn’t matter if you are big-shot doctor or if you are a janitor, we are all equal with one common goal, cheer on your team.
The pure joy of a kid in his first baseball game, the raw emotion of an adult when their team makes an amazing play are what makes me believe in the power of sports.
I understand that sports isn’t for everyone, but to act as if sports is not part of society would be an ignorant statement. Sports isn’t a tool one can use to “get away” from their life, but rather it’s a part of that fabric we call life. So, whenever someone now comes up to me and says “Pedro, when will you grow up and write something that means something to the world?” I simply reply, “I already am.”