Posted on 29 October 2014.
We often talk about the word “loss” in sports.
After every game, one team earns a win and another earns a loss, and analysts will talk about how the loss of an injured player will affect a team.
But the word takes on a deeper meaning on days like last Sunday, when St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend Edilia Arvelo died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Taveras was just 22 years old and Arvelo was 18.
“To say this is a horrible loss of a life ended too soon would be an understatement,” Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny said in a statement to the media.
Taveras’ death hit the Cardinals organization and all of Major League Baseball hard. It helped to remind me that athletes are still people. Sometimes I wrongly assume that professional athletes have perfect lives with no problems, but they suffer loss and mourn the deaths of loved ones, just like all of us.
Loss of life is always a terrible thing, but sports can help people cope. It’s amazing to see communities rally around teams to move on from tragedy, like when the city of New Orleans rallied around the Saints after Hurricane Katrina.
Tragedies help put our lives in perspective. I think sometimes we take sports too seriously.
Sports fanatics like myself tend to act like sports are a matter of life and death, but the fact is they aren’t. It’s not the end of the world when our favorite team loses a game, no matter how much it may feel like it.
Posted in Sports, Sports Columns
Posted on 08 October 2014.
When you watch the Indiana Wesleyan University men’s soccer team, it’s clear the team has a lot of fun playing the game.
The players demonstrated this in the team’s 5-0 win over Marian Sat., Oct. 4 with an elaborate celebration when Keaton Albert (jr) scored the first goal for the Wildcats.
After the goal, the rest of the team surrounded Albert, fell to the ground and began making pretend snow angels in the wet grass.
Albert said the team practiced the celebration beforehand, expecting to score a goal and be able to use it. Since the team was confident and prepared, they took the time to relax and have fun by choreographing the celebration.
I think it’s celebrations like this that help draw people to sports in the first place.
Some people might look at this celebration and call it unsportsmanlike or over-the-top, but the celebration was quick and in good fun. The team didn’t taunt or disrespect the opposition; they were simply enjoying Albert’s goal.
Yes, players and coaches have jobs to do and need to take their respective sports seriously.
But when it comes down to it, sports are a game. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point?
It’s a breath of fresh air to see a team playing at a high level but still having fun doing so. I can’t wait to see what other kinds of celebrations the team pulls out for the rest of the season.
Posted in Sports, Sports Columns
Posted on 24 September 2014.
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will be playing in his final game this week, after a 20-year Hall of Fame career.
Growing up watching baseball, I hated Jeter because he played for the Yankees. But in the past few years, I have gotten over my hatred of New York and have grown to respect The Captain for the way he plays the game.
Jeter is quite possibly the greatest shortstop of all time, but does not act like it. There are countless stories of Jeter treating teammates, media and fans with respect and always being more concerned with team success than individual stats. In the ego-filled culture of professional sports, Jeter’s humility has been refreshing.
Thinking about Jeter’s career reminded me of a phrase my high school football coach would frequently tell my team: “It’s great to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”
It’s a simple phrase with a simple meaning: good things happen when you put the team’s goals above yourself. As cliché as it sounds, this rang true in Jeter’s career. He worked hard and did his job, and it led to five World Series championships.
The team-first mindset is evident in Indiana Wesleyan University sports as well.
It seems that in nearly every interview I have with an IWU coach or athlete, the conversation naturally drifts straight to the team instead of the individual.
A team-first attitude will go a long way. I challenge you, IWU students, to put the team’s needs over your own, whether it’s an official IWU sport, intramurals or class group projects.
Posted in Sports, Sports Columns
Posted on 11 September 2014.
Why do I love sports?
I’ve been thinking about that question this week and realized it’s difficult to answer.
Sports have always been a part of my life. I can’t imagine my life without them. But why? What is it about sports that has drawn me to them since I was a little kid?
It certainly isn’t because I like winning.
I have been a diehard Cleveland sports fan my entire life, so I’m not too familiar with the whole winning concept. (Although I’m hopeful that will change with LeBron coming home!) Interestingly, through the perpetual losing seasons and disappointment, my love for sports has actually grown. `
My love for sports can be summed up by “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” to borrow the famous “Wide World of Sports” tagline. I love the drama and passion of sports. You see it in the hard work of athletes at practices and games, the intensity of a coach’s pregame speech and in the painted faces of football fans on Sunday afternoons. Sports give people something to be passionate about, a place to express their emotions.
I also love how sports bring people together. Absolute strangers become best friends celebrating a team’s victory. Entire nations come together to rally around national teams during events like the Olympics and World Cup. Sports forge a bond between people that few other things can.
So why should you care about all this? Because I want to share my love of sports with you this year.
Through this column and other stories, I hope to tell of the drama and passion of IWU sports, as well as how sports are bringing people together on this campus and elsewhere.
I am looking forward to working as the sports editor for The Sojourn this year, and hope to interact with you any way I can.
Feel free to contact me through email or Twitter (@tim_tedeschi), and be sure to check back every two weeks for another edition of Tedeschi’s Take.
Posted in Columns, Sports, Sports Columns