For most of my life, sports have been an integral portion of it. From little league soccer and baseball to adult rec softball, I’ve often been a participant. These days I enjoy sports by watching them or getting updates on my iDevices. It all probably started with my Dad, he’s an avid sports fan and has been very influential on my sport and team of choice. If I could only save one sport and one team? Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles.
Baltimore had always been a bit of a romanticized ideal of baseball for me. Cal Ripken, Jr. Eddie Murray. Mike Mussina. A rich history and lots of tradition. I lost my ways for a while when I moved away for school. It didn’t help that the Orioles were in the midst of a decade of losing seasons. But a couple years ago, the Orioles were calling up their latest prospect, a switch hitting catcher by the name of Matt Wieters. I couldn’t afford a full season of MLB.tv but I paid for a month and watched his debut in the Show. Then last year it really took off the O’s were back in the pennant race and a return to winning. So last year and this year I’ve been glued to my iPhone or iPad Mini or AppleTV as I watch them on MLB.tv for the full season.
There’s so much to like about these Orioles, they’re scrappy but there’s loads of talent to be found. Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis and JJ Hardy for a solid every day core. Now all they need is to develop the starting pitching. They’ve got a few decent arms and with the way the O’s mash, they’re in just about every game. But if Goose (Kevin Gausman) and Dylan Bundy develop the way we hope, we’ll be making pennant runs for the foreseeable future.
Besides Major League Baseball, College Football has to be my second love. I grew up a Florida State Seminoles fan during the dynasty years. My Mom, an alumnus, raised me to cheer for the garnet and gold. I’ll admit the 90s Noles spoiled me and I was heartbroken during their decline in the mid-2000s. I moved to Gainesville in 2006 for college and ended up going to school at the University of Florida. And so, the Gators, the rivals of my childhood Noles, tried to wrest away my fandom. But a single season cannot erase a lifetime of cheering and so by halftime of the Battle for the Governor’s Cup, I was back to rooting for my Noles. But that doesn’t mean I don’t root for the Gators. My college allegiances are a mess but in order: Florida State, Florida Atlantic, Florida.
I personally find the college game a lot more fun and interesting. The guys in the NFL are so good and play at such a high level that the game feels repetitive and boring. But the diversity of offenses and defenses and experimental plays keeps the college game constantly fresh. The only other college sport I tend to follow is baseball but I tend to just follow along in recaps and game threads only catching the occasional televised game.
Next up, professional basketball and the Miami Heat. I was born and raised in South Florida and I used to have a strong affinity for the teams there (Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins) but I never was a big basketball person until the emergence of Dwayne Wade. I had somewhat followed the Heat during the early Mourning years but when I was growing up everyone was a Jordan fan. But Wade. He took Miami by storm and hasn’t let go. His ability to drive to the rim and draw fouls is amazing. And then he grabbed his two draft-mate friends and brought them to South Beach to win it all. And win it all they have (though it took them a year).
Finally, my last sports love is the Seattle Sounders. I love them from far away and don’t get to watch many of their matches but if I were living in Seattle, I’d proudly be a supporter and season ticket holder. Soccer was my first little league sport but baseball became my true love. Recently, I’ve rediscovered the joy of watching soccer matches and I plan on continuing to do so. My hometown team, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, is my second division team though if they moved up to MLS, I might have a hard time sticking with the Rave Green.
So that’s my sports life wrapped up in a single article. My hope is that each of these introduction articles gives a little bit more insight into who I am.