I was wondering what my column was going to be about this week when it occurred to me that I should write about why I like sports and writing about sports.
When I was growing up as an only child, I remember playing this electric football game that would vibrate to make the players move. I'm sure those of you who had one are smiling with memories of spending hours watching the players spin in circles.
I turned the control all the way up and would pretend that they were playing and an earthquake would hit. But sometimes between earthquakes I would write down the results and write a Super Bowl story. I would do this on rainy days or when I wasn't allowed to go outside when I was grounded because my mother overreacted.
To make sure I stayed home my mother would call me from work at random intervals and I had three rings to pick it up. As a result of my rambunctious actions as a child, I had a lot of time to practice my writing on my made-up games.
The thing I like about sports in general -- especially boxing, which is my favorite to watch -- is the battle between teams and individuals. A lot of the struggles teams and individuals go through in sports can also be translated into life. In sports, the biggest and strongest doesn't always win, which gives people hope that they can overcome the odds and come out ahead.
Then with all the problems in the world and that people have in their daily lives, sports are a great way to stop thinking about them. Without being able to use sports as a distraction people could become depressed or worse if they didn't have that escape.
Even though I love sports, there was a time when I considered doing something different. I had been with the Citizen for about two or three years when I considered changing beats from sports to government or crime and courts. I guess I thought I wanted to write something with more substance.
That was when a writer we had at the time, Allison Floyd, said that even though the government and crime stories get a lot of attention, it's sports articles that last. She told me that after her stories are read people use them to line the bottom of their bird cages. Whereas my sports stories tend live on in scrapbooks and are read years later.
I guess that helped put things in perspective for me.
Email Manny Fils at firstname.lastname@example.org.