|Pathways to Life by Martha Slavin|
I have become a rabid Warriors basketball fan. A surprise to me since I've never like watching basketball until the last four seasons. Before the Warriors became champions, we shared tickets with friends. I hated going to the games because to me they were no longer an athletic event. They were a show, they were extremely loud and expensive, spectators strutted around covered in Bling, and the cheerleaders, like most modern cheer squads, sashayed and pranced like Vegas showgirls. People seem to be at the game just to watch each other. We gave up our share of the tickets.
The Warriors with their joyous, winning ways have put the fun back into the game (though they still persist with a sexy cheer squad). As I watch a game on TV, I realize how quickly I turn against the players of the opposing team. I think of James Harden in particular, who I grew to dislike during the first 3 seasons of playoffs. He seemed to cheat when his team was behind by looking to create fouls to increase his team's score. He bad-mouthed other players. He strutted around with a chip on his shoulder. This year with the addition of some better players on the Rockets, Harden doesn't carry such a heavy load, has learned to share the ball with the likes of Chris Paul, and with the help of his team members is really pressing the Warriors, without as many fouls as he used to accumulate.
I let go of my dislike of him because he is showing me a different side of himself. Though he still spends too much time dribbling, I can see how he thinks through the plays and is more aware of other players on the court who can help his team win. He is an example of how character, working together, and maturity count. Isolation doesn't win.
The other side of the coin is my reaction to an opposing team. How quickly I rant and cheer against them even when they may be perfectly reasonable, likable people off the court. They say that playing sports is a good way to learn personal skills, character development, and teamwork. Maybe the same could be said for spectators. I can see that it is easy to learn the wrong lesson. I've watched people shout at each other and get into altercations at leisurely baseball games. I can feel my own emotions surge as my team goes ahead or goes down to defeat. I could ask myself what does this game mean to me? Maybe I need to step back, slow down, and remember it is just a game. I need to remember that though character counts in athletics, it matters even more in real life.
|Sunshine in Flowers by Martha Slavin|