I am a big believer in explaining things through anecdotes. It’s very sports-writerly of me to want to narrativize the arc of my experience. Here are a few moments for you to meditate on:
Last Saturday, amidst intermittent rain and cloudy skies, The Daily Californian defeated The Stanford Daily in the Ink Bowl for the third consecutive year, claiming the trophy, the title, and the glory by a final score of 28-14.
Up until recently, I had always maintained that the outcome of a sporting event could not have a directly negative impact on my mood. Sure, bad news about a beloved team could certainly keep a bad day bad, but seeing my team lose would never turn my smile into a frown. I touted this belief publicly, lecturing people about “trusting the process,” seeing the positive light in every loss, the light at every tunnel. When my beloved Jacksonville Jaguars came up short in the AFC Championship game last January, I kept my mood afloat by assuring myself they’d be back next year.
I can’t wait for the NFL draft to begin on Thursday. I feel like the draft is an important benchmark in the NFL offseason, remind us “Oh, now I only have to wait four months for football to come back!” But the anticipation of the draft is unavoidable; it is absolutely impossible to miss the hype and mystery surrounding which exciting college prospect your favorite team will add to their squad. Difference making star players, exciting young late-round steals and guys with funny names all make their appearances during draft weekend, and you can bet I’m going to be watching every second.
On Thursday, the Jacksonville Jaguars will unveil their new uniforms. This statement may mean absolutely nothing to you, but to me, it couldn’t be more exciting. Actually, to be completely honest, I’ve been waiting for these uniforms to come out since the day after the Super Bowl; they’d been teased ages ago. I think my anticipation of seeing a jersey that won’t even be worn until August stems partly from the fact that I’m football deprived, and partly from the fact that team jerseys are one of the most unique and representative icons of sports fandom.
I’m writing this column while sitting behind home plate at the Stanford-UC Davis baseball game, and despite the excellent pitching of Brendan Beck and the productivity of the Cardinal bats, I can’t take my eyes off of my computer screen, where I’ve got the first Yankees-Red Sox game of the year pulled up on a questionably legal streaming website. And wouldn’t you know it, just as I was drafting that last sentence, Mookie Betts just crushed a grand slam right over the Green Monster to put the Sox up 14-1. And if you were wondering if I’m overjoyed or upset at that outcome, I’ve been a massive Red Sox fan since I was 10 years old. Seeing the Yankees get smashed is pure ecstasy. But even so, I’ve got to sit back and ask myself, why am I actually watching Major League Baseball?
I’ve returned to the United States after finishing up my quarter at Oxford in the Bing Overseas Program, and let me just say that it is GREAT to be back. Sports are televised at normal hours of the day, cars drive on the appropriate side of the road and the weather in Palo Alto is absolutely gorgeous. I’m sad that I’m no longer investigating weird British sports on a weekly basis, but I am truly grateful to have made it back in time for Opening Day, the end of March Madness and the start of the NBA playoffs.
I select the sports I visit here at Oxford through a very rigorous process. And by that I mean I pull up the sports catalogue on the official Oxford website and scroll through the various clubs until I find the one that amuses me the most. I’m still hoping to get a visit with the walking team and the korfball team! Once I’ve made my selection, I send out an email to get an invitation to a team practice.