Picture this: You’re sitting around your living room with your family, crowded around the TV, as you’re watching Game Seven of the World Series. You’re anxious to see how it plays out, and then you hear this come from the announcer: “A little bouncer, slowly towards Bryant. He will glove it and throw to Rizzo! This game’s over, and the Chicago Cubs win the World Series! The Cubs come pouring out of the dugout, jumping up and down like a bunch of delirious 10-year-olds! The Cubs have done it! The longest drought in the history of American sports is over, and the celebration begins!” Just like that, you’re erupting into cheers, tears of joy, and embracing your loved ones like never before. Sports. It’s something that binds us all. But why does it have this strong of an impact? Let’s get into it.
Growing up, I was always surrounded by sports. They brought my family together no matter the distance between us. When the St. Louis Cardinals were playing the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 World Series, I remember gathering around the TV with my grandparents and cousins, excited about what the series had to offer. Even though we were away from home, it brought all of us together and we watched it all together as the Red Sox beat the Cardinals in the Series. But, even though they lost, what sticks in my mind the most is how we all felt and how we watched it as a family. Almost 3 years later, I remember sitting on my couch at home, watching the end of the World Series with my dad, a born and raised Chicagoan. He lives and breathes everything Chicago, especially the Cubs and the Bears. As the final outs of that game happened, the louder and louder his cheers became. And then it happened. The ball goes to Chris Bryant, who throws it to Rizzo, and then boom. The living room erupts in cheers of excitement, and I can just imagine my grandparents all the way in Chicago, celebrating a win like no other they’ve ever seen.
Fans gather from all around the world to watch their teams. You will find fans of any country scattered all around the globe. Even small towns in the middle of nowhere gather around to cheer on their country as they battle for the beloved—and ever-elusive—World Cup Trophy. My friend, Julien Noble, was able to witness this back in 2018 during the final game of the World Cup. He was staying in a little town in France called Préfailles. The World Cup that year had been hosted in Russia, so the final game was played in Moscow between France and Croatia. The entire town gathered in the two bars that they had and anxiously watched as their team fought their way to a World Cup Trophy. Finally, when the Trophy was lifted, the whole town began to celebrate. This little town, in the middle of nowhere France, packed into the three or four bars to celebrate the enormous victory of their country into the early hours of the morning. They all shared one commonality, a pride in their country that was ignited by the powerful sport of football.
Now, I know I’ve only talked about the postseason, but the regular season can be insane as well. The playoff hunts in many sports are an exciting time to be a sports fan, especially if you are at the games. Going to sports games has always been a passion of mine. It has allowed me to enjoy the game while spending quality time with my family. Whether it be University of Florida football games at The Swamp or Charleston Riverdog baseball games at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, or any other stadium or ballpark, we are together and that's what makes it so special. The moments in the game connect me to everyone else in the stadium who is cheering for the success of their team. Fanbases are at the heart of sports. They are what the game is made for. The crowds erupting as the home team scores, and fans rushing the field after a massive upset. The power to bring people together. The power to connect people all around the world. The power to bring people together. That. That is the power of sports.
David Sternfeld is an Aleph living in Charleston, South Carolina who loves to play baseball, swim, and can rattle off anything about Star Wars in 10 seconds tops.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
Levi & Avi look forward to a year ahead as we exit the pandemic and at what our future holds.
Get The Shofar blasted to your inboxSubscribe