Sports memories don’t fade
Even though I’m a sports fan, I’ve never been able to figure out why the lives of other people, many of whom I’ve never met and never will meet, get so much of my attention.
Now, take this in the spirit in which it’s intended; I’m not suggesting this is a bad thing. I’ve just always found it odd how sports draws in fans.
Maybe it’s the drama. Maybe it’s how we see something of ourselves in the athletes and teams we follow. Take it from me, I’ve been a die-hard New Orleans Saints fan since I was a boy. I still have trouble wrapping my mind around my lovable losers winning the Super Bowl.
By far, the biggest sports fan in my family was my grandfather. Even well into his golden years he could recall facts and figures about sports that even a much younger man like myself had trouble retaining. He loved to follow a variety of sports, from his favorite, baseball, to football, basketball, horse racing and more. He also was an avid hunter and fisherman.
His favorite team was the New York Yankees. Despite living in southern Louisiana his entire life, he was always loyal to the team that played its home games thousands of miles away. I’d say he knew enough about the team to step in as a beat writer if needed.
My grandfather was a “salt of the earth” type. He always worked hard, and he was a great role model. He was laid back and easy going.
I’ve been reflecting on his life a lot lately, as he passed away Monday. He was 84. He fought in World War II. He was wounded, and received the Purple Heart.
He was a part of America’s “Greatest Generation,”?comprised of so many brave men and women. He carried that same tough spirit throughout his life.
I guess after you make it through such a horrible war, everything else that comes along doesn’t seem like such a big deal. My grandfather never would let anything worry him for too long. He would stop and smell the roses, as they say. And his way of doing that was to nestle into his chair with the sports section and a sporting event on television.
Part of enjoying life is taking the time for a ball game or two, skimming through a box score or even getting into a serious conversation about X’s and O’s.
It’s funny how our family members teach us so much about life even through the seemingly mundane parts of it.
If there is a great gig in the sky, I?hope they have a television, a reclining chair and a newspaper subscription because I know of somebody who will need all three.