Today I want to build off of what Marris started yesterday in his post about loyalty and talk about something else that is important to sports fans. Tradition. I wrote a post just about a year ago to the day about how one of my favorite parts of the NCAA tournament is the compalation of highlights put to song at the end of the championship. This is referred to as "One Shining Moment" as it is the title of the song they use every year. My dad has watched it, or DVR'd it now that he is getting up there in years and can't always stay awake that late, as long as I can remember and starting in high school I would stay up and watch it with him. That tradition is important to me. Another tradition that is important to all baseball fans is opening day. Yesterday, was also opening day at Busch Stadium, the first home game for the Cardinals. This is a day that is marked with much pomp and circumstance. The players enter on the back of convertibles and trucks. When the weather cooperates, the Clydesdales pull a cart around the field. The Hall of Famers are present, wearing their red jackets and when the Cardinals have a trophy, it is on full display.
Tradition is part of the lore of sports. There are certain expectations that come with tradition. IU fans expect their basketball team to make the National Tournament every year. When they don't it is seen as a failed season. Quoting Herb Brooks "When you pull on that Jersey, the name on the front is a whole hell of a lot more important than the name on the back". The reason that is for so many sports fans is because the name on the front represents something. It represents all the men and women who have donned those same "Clothes" in the words of Jerry Seinfeld. For Cardinals fans, you are representing Stan Musial and Bob Gibson, for Yankees it is the many greats that have plaques out in Centerfield. With IU you represent the great Bob Knight and all of the all americans and National Champions that have come before you. With that comes some rituals, and rights of passage as a fan and player. It comes with a bit of Pomp and Circumstance that may be silly and outdated, but you best not question it because it is part of who that team is and what it stands for. So go on Cubs fans, Sing "Go Cubs Go" after every win. Relish in the fact that you are playing in a stadium that is out of date by modern standards. Because that is part of who the Cubs are and the flags flying in centerfield atop that old scoreboard on a Sunny Chicago afternoon and looking out and seeing the Ivy on the walls. Well that is a special thing. Because that is part of the tradition for that Cubs... That is part of the tradition of the sport... and that's part of why we love sports.
Thanks for Reading,
T.O. signing out