Choose Your Toppings

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Leading Off

Hello everyone! I figured that I would formally introduce myself so you know what you’re getting yourselves into. First of all, my name is Lindsay. I’m about to enter my third year (whoa) of college. I’m a Communications major and recently decided to minor in Theater.

To say that I am a sports fan is an understatement. I am completely and utterly invested in just about every sport I watch. That’s why I decided that the only career that would make sense for me was something involving sports. My ultimate dream is to have my own sports talk show one day.

The first game I ever fell in love with was baseball. I can’t point to a certain time when I remember watching my first game or learning my first rule. It’s been with me for as long as I can really remember. It all started with my best friend, my Paw Paw.

photo via mecookie

I loved spending any time I could with my Paw. Since he spent most of his time watching baseball, so did I. He was so excited to teach me everything he knew. He would tell me stories from when he was a kid which made me fall in love with the history of the game as well. We watched or listened to every single game together. For my entire childhood, the Detroit Tigers were a losing team. It was all I knew, yet there was nothing I loved more than watching them play.

When the Tigers made it to the World Series in 2006, it was one of the greatest memories I have ever had. After years and years of seeing them lose, I got to experience what it felt like to win - all with my Paw Paw sitting on the couch across from me. I can still remember his sweet smile when Magglio Ordonez hit that walk off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning.

Last year, my Paw Paw suffered from a collapsed lung. He was in the hospital for a few months and every time I visited, we watched the Tigers. He became progressively sicker and it was difficult for him to talk. The last conversation we had was about Jose Valverde.

A few days later, he was sent to hospice care. On June 11, I sat by his bed and held his hand. He wasn’t awake, but the doctor told us that he could still hear us. As usual, the Tigers game was on the television. I broadcasted the entire game to him. We watched it together just like we had for my entire life. That night, the Tigers won the game to take over first place in the American League Central. It was the last game I ever watched with him.

At 3:57 A.M. on June 12, 2011, my Paw Paw passed away. I didn’t know how I was ever going to be able to watch another Tigers game again. I associated it so much with him that it broke my heart to even think about it. Then I realized that the only thing that would make me feel better was watching baseball. When the Tigers beat the Yankees to advance to the ALCS, my phone rang, just like it did so often after a Tigers game, with my Paw Paw on the other line. Though it had been months since he died, when I heard the phone ring I immediately expected to hear his voice. The caller ID read “Unknown Number” with the phone number “000-000-0000”. It may sound silly, but I took it as a sign. My Paw Paw will always be watching baseball with me.

Sports have a way of bringing people together. Families, friends, and complete strangers enter a whole different universe when they’re supporting their favorite team. A team can lift the spirits of an entire state. Every sport is exciting and unpredictable in its own way and I’m constantly amazed at the ability of these athletes. Through the good, bad, and ugly, it’s always a joy for me to watch.

I’m so excited to begin writing for this site. I’ll be sharing my opinions, posting recaps, and giving you fun facts and information along the way. Here’s to another memorable year in sports!

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