It's Not About the Games. It's About the People

Tough Saturday for this Detroit sports fan.

The Red Wings lost the Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh last night.

The city of Detroit has decided to tear down the rest of Tiger Stadium because no funds could be raised to save it.


Some athletes who make more money than I will ever dream of lost a trophy. An old stadium, in a city I don't even live in, that hasn't been used with any regularity in 10 years is being torn down.

And I'm having a tough day...?

Does that sound funny to anybody besides me? Why do I care? Why is my gut being torn apart? Why did I cry like an 8 year old little boy last night? What did I really lose? Why do I have so much invested in games?

In reality, I don't.

I love the old ball park because I remember all the good times I had there as a boy. I remember spending time with my Dad. Running around getting player autographs, and a special moment with Ernie Harwell legendary Tiger broadcaster as he walked from the field where he had been talking to the players and coaches to a little boy who couldn't have been more thrilled to meet him and have him sign my program. I remember feeling so much happiness when my hero, Lance Parrish hit a home run when we had driven all the way from Lima, Ohio to watch a game. I remember that I brought my best friend to that game. I remember taking my wife and daughters to games there including the third to the last game of the season in 1999 when the stadium closed.

You'll notice that's the only time I mentioned the stadium in that entire paragraph.

Similarly, while you'll hear me talk about the Wings and how they played I am more likely to talk about the games I attended in Detroit as a child, stories about my Dad and I watching the Wings win the Cup in 1997, and the games I've attended in Columbus as an adult, very often with my family.

I have friends across the United States and in the Virgin Islands (Right Ang?) who I have never met in person. We get together and chat in our online lounge during almost every game - kinda like an online living room.

I have a friend at the library that I talk to about hockey all the time. I have teammates who are very much like my family who I wouldn't know but for hockey.

Not a puck or a stick or a goalie mask mention in any of the above.

I might be upset that the Red Wings lost, and I might mourn the demolition of an historic landmark, but I assure you my friends I'm maintaining perspective.

While the game brings us together, the relationships are what really matter.

You see my true investment is in people.


Juice in LA said...

Aw Jim, I agree. great blog. Its always about the people. But as much as we feel foolish for becoming so attached to places and people that aren't our own, as much as we bring the athletes into our hearts, they think of us as family too- At least Ozzie does.

Jim Brochowski said...

I can see that Juice. After all, without us they wouldn't have jobs.

I wrote this to convince myself that I was going to be okay, the world would not end, and I should appreciate what I have - i.e. great friends like you!

Thanks for stopping by.