It’s been a long time since we’ve had a full schedule of sports. And we’re really missing the action. It made us think: what is the reason we first fell in love with sports?
So we put out the call to staff and to our readers to tell us their stories. What was the moment or reason that you first felt *that* connection.
You are watching: why do you love sports
These are those stories.
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WHY DO I LOVE SPORTS? …
Because I got to hang out with Ara Parseghian …
This was not the first Notre Dame football game I went to, nor was it the most significant or consequential one. The stakes were high, although I would be at more momentous contests. But, I think this one means the most to me.
Have to backtrack to my senior year in high school, and football was in season. My dad, who has since passed, asked me to pick a Notre Dame game to go to as he wanted to go back to see a former colleague. Dad was the first news director at the local television affiliate in South Bend. Still being a keen fan, I asked if we could go to the LSU game in November of 1970. (Read more of Bob’s story here.)
Bob Young of Oradell, New Jersey
Because Pele came to play in the USA …
I had never kicked a soccer ball before. Then the fateful day that changed my life forever occurred when a friend of mine was reading a sports section from a newspaper. The headline on the front page was “PELE COMES TO U.S.” It intrigued me and I started asking some adults who this man was and why it was such a big deal. I was 13 years old in the mid 1970’s and I asked my parents if they could buy me a soccer ball. I would kick that ball against a wall for hours every day. I ended up playing high school and college soccer and went on to become a professional soccer player for twelve years. That was the day I fell in love with sports, because of a Brazilian genius named Pele joining the New York Cosmos. I always say the wall where I learned my skills was the best teammate I ever had because every time I passed the ball to him he would always pass it back to me.
Kris Klassen of Milwaukee, Wis.
Because my brothers nicknamed me “Yogi” …
I remember when I first realized I loved sports. I was the youngest of seven kids, five boys and two girls. When I was about seven years old two of my older brothers would play catch with me. Both of the brothers were athletic and played various sports in high school. One day one of my brothers nicknamed me “Yogi” because at that time Yogi Berra was his favorite player. He said we are going to make a catcher out of you, so the nickname fit well.
I went on to play little league baseball and all the kids in our small town started calling me Yogi. Kids in school didn’t even know my first name. They just called me Yogi. I am 67 years old now and many of my childhood friends and even older adults still call me Yogi. I played ball for a half dozen years but quite frankly wasn’t very good. I still loved the game though and fortunately have been able to enjoy it immensely through one of my siblings. You see, that brother who nicknamed me Yogi happens to be Jim Leyland, the very successful Major League Baseball manager and World Series Champion.
How lucky was I to be able to watch my brother and his teams in a sport that I fell in love with when I was seven.
Larry (Yogi) Leyland of Perrysburg, Ohio
Because I would sneak my transistor radio into class to listen to the game…
I loved baseball as a little boy. I’d sneak my little transistor radio with the wire and single ear piece and listen to the World Series during class with my hand over my ear for secretly. I learned how to spell “Yastrzemski” and showed all my neighbors how I could tie my sneakers and spell my favorite players name. They must have thought I was nuts but I loved baseball from boyhood to today, over 50 years later.
Jim Curran of Allentown, Pa.
Because I won gold medal at the 1960 neighborhood Olympics …
I was 13 in 1960 and the Summer Olympics were happening in Rome that year. Everyone in our neighborhood was captivated by them. We even staged our own Olympics in a field by our houses in Marion, Ohio. We tried events like the triple jump that none of us had never done before.
Towards the end of our events, I still had not won any medals, we held our version of the marathon. Toward the end of the race, I was dead last. Then my friend, Mike Thatcher, came up behind me and said if I could beat him to the finish line, I would win the gold medal. I ran as fast as I could the last hundred yards, though I’m sure Mike didn’t run as fast as he could. I beat him and was given the gold medal.
I’m sure I cried when I was given the medal. But I was hooked … I watched and participated in as many sports as I could. In my 70’s now, I play golf and walk … getting my 10,000 steps most every day. I can’t wait for sports to start up again.
Stephen Brown of Urbana, Ohio
Because Paul Molitor hit for the cycle …
“Molitor has hit for the CYCLE!”
I had two thoughts as I sat up with a jolt that evening in 1991, with Milwaukee Brewers announcer Bob Uecker’s elation coming through loud and clear even though the nearby boom box – repaired with tattered duct tape – was set to one of the lowest audio settings. The first thought: I needed to restrain my excitement so my parents didn’t hear me downstairs and realize their 9-year-old son was very much still awake. The second … well, I had to figure out what a “cycle” meant. (Read more of JR’s story here.)
JR Radcliffe, sports reporter at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Because college football is college football…
Looking back, I can’t say what it was exactly. The spectacle, maybe? Certainly wasn’t a matter of spine-tingling suspense. No one was on the edge of their seat. The personal highlight for me actually came about 33 years afterward. Because the game itself was a dud. (Read more of Gentry’s story here.)
Gentry Estes, sports columnist at The Tennessean
Because I was allowed to stay up late to watch Monday Night Football …
I was sound asleep when I felt a soft tap on my shoulder. “Hey,” my dad whispered, “football’s on.” I groggily climbed out of bed and followed him downstairs as I began to realize what a momentous occasion this was. The year was 1973. It was the day after my birthday. My one request was to be able to stay up late and watch my favorite team, the Washington Redskins, play the hated Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. But Monday was a school night and 8:30 was my bedtime. (Read more of Steve’s story here.)
USA TODAY Sports reporter Steve Gardner
Because I saw two of sports’ biggest stars …
I fell in love with two sports in the same year, thanks to my Dad. In the spring of 1957, we lived outside of Washington D.C., and he took me to a Boston Red Sox-Washington Senators game. He was very specific, telling me to watch everything that Number 9 of the Red Sox did. That was Ted Williams and he later said, “That man was the best player on the field today.”
Later that year, we went to a Cleveland Browns-Washington Redskins game. He told me the same thing he told me about Williams. “Watch everything that Number 32 of the Browns does.” That was Jim Brown, “the best player on the field that day.”
Doug Kelly of Sacramento, Calif.
Because I inherited a bike and the playground wasn’t far …
It’s easy to know when I fell in love with sports. It was when I inherited an old family two wheel bike that gave me the mobility to ride to a local school. It was adjacent to a playground that included a baseball field, a basketball court, and an open field just suited for football. And with a small basket and a glove or helmet slung over the handlebar, that bike was perfect for carrying all the equipment needed.
The time was 1952 and I was 14. It was just me and a slew of guys that came to the playground for a pick-up game of the sport in season. Didn’t always have a full team, but somehow that never mattered. Just adjust the rules a bit and played on. The best two players were captains and then they shot fingers to select the team. We played the positions we were known for and filled in where there was a need. The goal was to get playing.
If no one was available, we just umpired ourselves and, except for rare occasions, no fisticuffs interrupted play. We played on into the late shadows, congratulated all on a good game, and raced home right about the time our parents were calling us in for dinner.
Sports were everything because it gave me the opportunity to be with friends, play to exhaustion, learn how to quickly organize a game, and then dive right in. After a time, organized sports became my love in my high school years, a bit in my college years, into my military service years and then working years. At some point playing was replaced by being a fan.
Now at 82 years old, I can still watch a TV sporting event and remember those good old days when “I used to do that.” Ha! Yes, sports have been a life time love.
Don Bach of Palm Coast, Fla.
Because one Olympian made me want to represent my country. And I did.
It was during the 1976 summer Olympics. I watched Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce, win the decathlon. I loved the red, white and blue and watching him run around with our flag.
I remember running outside in my backyard with a small US flag playing make-believe that I had just won. I told myself that I would go to the Olympics — I didn’t know in what sport — but I would go and represent my country.
Mary Koboldt of St. Louis, Mo. Koboldt represented the United States in field hockey in the 1988 Summer Olympics.
Because Kentucky won a meaningless football game at the buzzer …
I’m from Louisville and my family has had Kentucky football season tickets since Commonwealth Stadium opened. It was 1991, I was 7 years old and I was cold. But it was my first game.
Kentucky vs. Cincinnati.
Both teams were actually pretty bad! I don’t remember a single thing that happened until the end. The score was tied at 17 — in these days there was no overtime — and Kentucky was lining up for a 53-yard field goal. Doug Pelfrey, who would later spend seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, unleashed a rocket that I remember thinking was too low. It wasn’t. Kentucky won a meaningless game — and it was the absolute best.
Unfortunately the hook was probably set a bit too deep for my young emotions, as four months later I’d be crying in my uncle’s living room because, ya know, Laettner. Then a year-and-a-half later I’d bear witness to Pookie Jones, Moe Williams, and a plucky Wildcat defense have mighty Florida beaten before freshman Danny Wuerrfel found freshman Chris Doering in the corner of the endzone as time expired.
Those memories, obviously darker, make the good ones that much better.
Evan Hilbert, USA TODAY Sports
Because Dave Rigetti made July 4, 1983, one I’ll never forget …
It was July 4th, 1983, Dave Righetti had already piqued my interest as a young southpaw but that day solidified my Yankees Fandom and a love of sports that still exists today.
I was six and have fuzzy memories of my Dad and I sitting in front of the TV watching our beloved Yankees battle the dreaded Red Sox. Righetti had struggled the year before but he looked like a new man that day and struck out seven of the first nine he faced.
I remember how excited my Dad was becoming at the possibility of a no-no and naturally that excitement jumped to me because I had never witnessed a no-hitter before and to see it done by my favorite player and on July 4th no pinkarmy.net much fun for a six year old. Righetti would ultimately walk four, one in the 9th to really put the feat in jeopardy but would work out of it and get Wade Boggs of all people to strike out to end the game.
Righetti would have his second shutout in as many starts and had just no hit the Sox!! I truly fell in love with sports that day and still love them today.
Scott Rapport of West Hartford, Conn.
Because this baseball game turned out to be perfect …
While I have been a sports fan my entire life, my greatest memory, the moment where I felt connected because I was a witness to it, was on May 29, 2010. I was vacationing in South Florida that Memorial Day weekend, and decided to attend a Marlins ballgame. I decided to go the first night. That game was Roy Halladay’s perfect game! (Read more of Jonathan’s story here.)
Jonathan Pick of Woodbridge, Va.
Because I’ll never forget my first look at the field …
Born in 1951, my father first took me to a Cincinnati Reds game in the mid-1950s. After we parked near the stadium, I don’t remember the walk to Crosley Field. Nor do I remember getting into the stadium or walking under the stands. What I do remember so vividly it is burned into my memory, as much as my first view of my newborn son, is walking through the tunnel into the stands and seeing the field for the first time. The lights were illuminating the field, so the field was swimming in the darkness of the night. (Read more of Bob’s story here.)
Bob Spitzfaden of Mt. Healthy, Ohio
Because this song still gives me goosebumps…
The song still gives me goose bumps. It danced along with a Pete Rose head-first slide, a skyward Fernando Valenzuela glance and heavy high-fives from Kirk Gibson. It signaled the end of my favorite television show, “This Week in Baseball,” but it was one last flourish to tide me over until next week. I was not alone. (Read the rest of Stephen’s story here.)
USA TODAY Sports editor Stephen Borelli
Because Willis Reed put it all on the line…
Willis Reed for the New York Knicks in the 1970 NBA final against Los Angeles. I was 14 years old and he gave what he gave for the team with no thought about himself. His actual performance didn’t matter as much as the devotion to not giving in or giving up. So much more than inspiration and it lives so large in my memory.
Jim Galloway of Sayreville, N.J.
Because sports meant everything to my childhood…
I don’t remember there being one magical, clear-eyed moment when I fell in love with sports. I just always remember being obsessed. Playing sports. Watching sports. Reading about sports. When I was little, my house had a heavy front door that would stick when it was locked at night. Mornings, I woke before my parents did. So, I went out the manageable back door, ran around the side of the house and went out front to grab the Sports section. Sports on TV were good. Sports in person were best. Many of the teams and leagues don’t exist anymore. Neither do some of the venues. The obsession remains. (Read the rest of Steve’s story here.)
USA TODAY Sports reporter Steve Berkowitz
Because I wasn’t allowed to play sports …
My moment doesn’t include a famous sports star or an immaculate reception but rather a moment in my life being the only girl with four big brothers back in 1972 when I was 4.
My father was sports nut and coached youth sports like it was a necessity of life. It was his air. He was coaching a little lads basketball team with a couple of my brothers and I went to a practice with him.
I quietly grabbed a ball and started walking to my own hoop to try and throw a ball up to it when I was abruptly stopped and given one rule and a quick instruction on mechanics. I was then told until I could shoot it correctly and make my first shot, I was only going to be allowed to shag balls… what??? Only shag balls??? The horror of being excluded. Needless to say, that moment changed my life and love for sports. I became a 10-time All State Athlete in the state of Florida in three different sports and in Clearwater Central Catholic HS Hall of Fame. I received multiple scholarship offers but went with basketball obviously, was team MVP at Columbus State University (Ga.) and also the Female Athlete of the Year for my college as well.
It was the moment I wasn’t allowed to play sports that my love for sports began and still lives to this day!
Kathleen Shriver of Lake Mary, Florida
Because sports is my soundtrack …
For most of you, I suspect your favorite sports memories replay in your mind for you like a photo or a film clip – a `spectacular catch, a majestic home run, a monster dunk that put at least two guys on posters. Well, for me, sports have a soundtrack – the crack of the bat, balls bouncing on courts, the thwacking of pads – and oh yeah, the whistles. Always the whistles. (Read more of Eddie’s story here.)
Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY Sports reporter
Because the Miracle on Ice happened …
The moment I fell in love with sports was as a young hockey fan growing up outside of Hartford, Connecticut. My dad had introduced me to the game and at the age of 10, and I became enamored with a ragtag group of college kids going up against what amounted to the greatest hockey team in the world. You guessed it — I’m talking about the 1980 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid and more specifically the US men’s hockey team, otherwise known as the “Miracle on Ice.” I’ve been a hockey fan ever since. Through league change and having my favorite team taken from me, nothing will take the love of sport from my heart.
David Schwarz of Middletown, Connecticut.
Because Doug Williams’ Super Bowl victory forever impacted my family
“Grandson, do you understand what this means? This is history!” The images and emotions of January 31, 1988 remain vivid. Sprawled on the floor of my grandfather’s living room in tiny Frytown, Virginia, I could sense the excitement as Doug Williams and the Washington Redskins racked up touchdown after touchdown during that legendary Super Bowl XXII second quarter. At halftime, he and my father, Rick, explained the deeper significance of Washington’s dominant performance. They described plight of the black quarterback and how Williams’ heroics were at last shattering decades of stereotypical shackles. I still had much to learn. About football. About culture. The world around me. But that’s the night I fell in love with sports. (Read the rest of Mike’s story here.)
USA TODAY Sports NFL columnist Mike Jones
Because my dad ordered a Packers shirt off a Wheaties box …
I was 9 years old in 1967 when my dad noticed that I liked to play football — even throwing the ball to myself if no one else was around. I came home from school one day and there was a package on the table for me. I eagerly ripped it open and inside was a Green Bay Packers T-shirt. Dad had secretly ordered it off the back of Wheaties box.
It was and still is the best gift I have ever received. It fueled a love for the Green Bay Packers, win or lose. In the 70’s and 80’s, it was mostly losing. But I’m still a fan 53 years and counting.
Today, I still collect Packer gear and one of my happiest moments was when my grandsons asked if they could have a Packers shirt like mine. I couldn’t order them fast enough. They wear them proudly even among a sea of Patriots and Cowboys fans. Thanks Dad!
Rick Freeman of Franklin, Maine
Because of the awesome memories I have of my late brother …
I lost my brother to a car accident on June 11,2007, so this time leading up to the anniversary of his death is always tender. But it always brings up awesome memories of our shared love of sports. My brother, Lee, was 20 when he passed away. I was 17 and about to enter my senior year of high school. As I reflect on the time I had with my brother so many memories involve sports. He is gone now, but no one can ever take away all the memories we made watching our sports heroes, rejoicing when our teams won, and playing pickup in the driveway. These cherished memories are the reason I love sports! (Read more of Bryce’s story here.)
Bryce Waller of McDonough, Ga.
Because being on a college football staff made an impact on me…
I have always had a connection or love of sports even at an early age. However it grew during my days as a student football manager at the University of Houston. While I was there I worked with coaches, players and former athletes, I got to travel with the team, visit stadiums like Neyland Stadium (Tennessee), Death Valley (LSU), Michie Stadium (Army), among many others. Plus, I was paired up with the RBs and my coach was Clay Helton, who is currently the head coach at USC.
Those six years were some of the best I have ever had, regardless of the W/L record. Still have connections with some of those players as well as the coaches. True sign of how sports connect and maintain friendships.
I love catching up with my football family every Saturday at TDECU Stadium watching my Houston Cougars thrive in the American Athletic Conference.
Paul Teeters of Houston
Because I wrote my first “game story” when I was 6 …
“It was a big day for John Elway on Januy 25th 1998. But it wan’t a good day on the other 4 Super Bowls that thay did’nt win.”
And so began the first “game story” of my sports journalism career: A recap of the Denver Broncos’ 31-24 win over the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. I was 6 years old – and clearly not yet ready to let Elway off the hook. I loved everything about sports, and especially NFL football, long before that game. But Super Bowl XXXII took it to another level. It was the most memorable sporting event of my childhood, even though I don’t exactly remember watching it live. I mostly just remember the feeling of it. (Read more of Tom’s story here.)
Tom Schad, USA TODAY Sports reporter
Because I remember crisp fall evenings with football and marching bands…
It would be near impossible to be a kid in 1960’s suburban Boston and not grow up with an obsession for the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots or Boston Bruins. Decades later, getting the crossword puzzle clue ‘Hockey Great Bobby ___’ correct evokes a poignant knowing for me.
Yet, my devotion for sports came at Quincy (MA) High School football games as a 9-year old, where my brother played the clarinet in the marching band. Mom would dress me up in a long blue and white stocking cap with a pom at the end. I would cheer with the cheerleaders and wanted so urgently to have crepe pom poms that my Mother made me some.
As I followed in my brother’s footsteps, playing for my high school band, our song ‘Anchors Aweigh’ never did cut it like QHS’s “March Down the Field To the Music’.
I’m not one to live in the past. Life and time marches on. But like the revolving crisp fall New England weather signaling football season, memories can’t be robbed from our playbooks. They’re as irreplaceable as home made pom poms and blue and white long stocking caps with a pom at the end.
Julie London-Ferguson of Sarasota, Florida
Because I was introduced to ‘Free-Throw Tom’ …
I learned a lot about my dad from watching Michael Jordan win championships for the Chicago Bulls. To me, my dad had a similar mindset to Jordan and a thirst to prove anyone who doubted him wrong. Dad told me he had been an “average” hoops player in high school. But then I attended a basketball camp at my dad’s old high school – and saw something that changed everything. That’s when I learned about ‘Free-Throw Tom.’ (Read more of Scott’s story here.)
Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports reporter
Because my dad’s devotion to a losing team was infectious …
I grew up in New Jersey, the daughter of a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan. In the heart of New York Giants country, my dad, David Rosenberg, rooted for a team that had never even made it to the Super Bowl. But his dedication and devotion to his team was infectious, and I found myself rooting for the Orange and Brown, too. My love of my team keeps me close to my dad and every time I go to a game, I wear one of his old hats or jerseys so he is there with me. (Read more of Beth’s story here.)
Beth Rosenberg Sanders of Gaithersburg, Md.
Because Villanova played the perfect game to stun Georgetown in 1985…
For a tween in the early ‘80s, no team could fill up a living room like the Georgetown Hoyas. Not that I was a fan, per se. Already a man of the people, my collegiate rooting interests favored public schools like Cal and UCLA, an ideal winter evening spent with Kevin Johnson running the point and Barry Tompkins on the mic. Yet this emerging beast called the Big East Conference was impossible to ignore. And with every passing year, the myths and realities of Georgetown basketball only grew. “Hoya Paranoia,” as it was known. In 1985, the Hoyas faced off with conference rival Villanova for the national title. What unfolded next remains the greatest upset in college basketball history, 16-over-1 be damned, simply because of what was required to pull it off. A perfect game. (Read more of Gabe’s story here.)
Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY Sports MLB reporter
Because I grew up at the perfect time for baseball in Los Angeles …
I grew up as a Jewish boy in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and my four years of Little League were 1963-1966. Of those years, the Dodgers were in the World Series in three of them and won the championship twice. Also, the best pitcher on the planet was Sandy Koufax and he was also Jewish and lived near my neighborhood so I had an idol + local MLB team + world championships + Little League = WHY I LOVE SPORTS!
Ross Miller, Los Angeles
Because sports offered me an opportunity – and I seized it…
I never planned to go to college. Sports gave me the opportunity and I seized it. My grades were not good in high school. ACT score was terrible. Too hyper. I guess they call it ADD now. Never applied to college and was working in a metal fabrication plant welding and burning beams for new construction in summer of 1981. While playing summer baseball after barely completing high school, a competitor’s parent asked me where I was going to college. I said I am not going. He said, “You have some of the most talent around here. My son is going to a JUCO in Florida so tell your mom to call me.” That call led to a JUCO and ultimately to a College World Series title. All heart, buddy. Like sports, give it your all and you can overcome adversity. That’s why I like (any) sports every day and that’s my story. (Read more of Rick’s story here.)
Rick Kosek, Atlanta
Because of Mickey and the Green Bay Packers …
I didn’t fall in love with sports because of a specific game or player or team. I fell in love with them because of the guy who got me hooked. As far back as I can remember, I watched Packers games with my Dad, Mickey. Every Sunday, without fail. My Dad would stretch out on the living room or basement floor in front of the TV and I’d flop down beside him. The team was godawful when I was a kid, with losing records in eight out of 10 seasons at one point, but still we watched. It’s those Packers games that turned me into who I am and for that I have my Dad to thank. (Read more of Nancy’s story here.)
Nancy Armour, USA TODAY Sports columnist
Because I wept for a title after decades of frustration…
I was a teenager growing up in little old Clemson, selling hot dogs in the stadium, when they won the championship in 1981. After decades of frustration, including my son asking, “Dad, why did you raise me to be a Clemson fan?” there was (Deshawn) Watson to (Tyler) Renfrow, and I wept.
Greg Hawkins, Clemson, South Carolina
Because an undefeated football team was the spark of something bigger …
Imagine a child, a young sports fan, living so near a college campus that she could see the glow of the football stadium lights from her front yard. Imagine her walking to the football stadium with her dad, cheering for the team playing in that stadium for three consecutive years, and never once leaving disappointed. That team, her team, never lost a game for three straight years. You’re a young fan, and you throw your heart and soul into a team, and it never, ever lets you down. That young fan was me, and that’s when I fell in love with sports. (Read more of Christine’s story here.)
Christine Brennan, USA TODAY Sports columnist
Because sports gave me an outlet …
As early as I can remember I was always playing some sport involving a ball, stick, or puck. When I began team sports at 4 years old I poured my heart and soul into every practice and game as much as a 4-year-old could. As time passed the joy a simple practice, scrimmage or a game brought to my life was amazing. Growing up within an unstable home environment I sought refuge in sports. Sports saved me from a life that would have ended in despair as many of my childhood friends ended up incarcerated or dead due to unwise choices and unwise time decisions.
Sports teaches us all about hard work, dedication, teamwork, and discipline. You cannot be successful in sports without hard work, and I think us former athletes appreciate and respect that the most. Sports gives us the sense of achievement and the agony of defeat. Every human emotion is revealed in sports. I fell in love with sports because it allowed me an escape from reality at home and taught me the value of life’s most precious gifts: time, love, and desire. Sports made me the man I am today. A husband, father, teacher, professor, coach, mentor, and fan. I fell in love with sports because it created the best version of myself through teaching me how to fail, succeed, and continue to apply myself every day until I became a champion of life. And I hope to get the next 86,400 seconds to try it again.
Jason Smith, Ed.D., Mount Juliet, Tennessee
Because a Yankees’ star’s death crystallized what sports meant to me …
If there was a moment that crystallized how important sports were to me, it was the death of Thurman Munson. I was 14 years old and living in New Jersey on Aug. 2, 1979, the day the Yankees All-Star catcher died in a plane crash. I was devastated. Four days later – hours after attending Munson’s funeral in Canton, Ohio – the Yankees returned to Yankee Stadium to play against the Baltimore Orioles. I watched on TV. The Yankees trailed most of that game. But Bobby Murcer, after delivering one of Munson’s eulogies earlier in the day, played hero in an amazing 5-4 win for the Yankees. It unleashed the emotions of the crowd at Yankee Stadium and my own sitting at home. (Read more of Cesar’s story here.)
Cesar Brioso, USA TODAY Sports
Because I can’t fathom my life without sports …
I grew up attending Milwaukee Braves games with my father. During the late ’50s, my dad and I sat in the right field extension and saw the future Hall of Famer, Hank Aaron. I collected baseball cards just like any other child who fell in love with the game. And in 1960, I watched the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Championship Game, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles, 17-13, as Green Bay was driving when time expired. From that game until today, I became an avid Packer fan, not missing a game on TV or radio for going on 59 years now. And as a 7th grader, I began attending Marquette Warrior games at the old Milwaukee Arena, with the late Coach Al McGuire pacing the court. I say all this to give one an idea of what sports has meant to me. I love sports because it’s been my escape from the realities of life, which today are hard to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Not having any “live” sports since the first week of March has been hard to deal with. I’ve already lost the NCAA Tournament, The Masters, Kentucky Derby and Preakness, the NBA playoffs, and the Indianapolis 500. Sports has, and always will be my number one love. I can’t fathom my life without sports to watch.
Jeff Ostach, Cedarburg, Wisconsin