Regardless of geography, sports can connect people - Lawrence County Record : Opinion

Regardless of geography, sports can connect people

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Posted: Monday, December 18, 2017 8:30 am

Perhaps during the Christmas season it becomes even more appropriate to get sentimental and all, but this weekend I got to thinking about how much sports defines us and draws us into a stronger bond as communities.

In other words, it seems sports has the power to link us in ways that other areas do not. We connect through our common love for a sports team or even a sports town.

For example, when we are away from our common thread of friends and co-workers, like let’s say at the mall in Springfield or Joplin, all it takes for Mt. Vernon High School sports fans to see is a stranger wearing the Mountaineer logo or even something green and, all of a sudden, you feel a little warmer, safer and at peace with the world.

The best example of this I think I personally experienced was recently on a vacation trip to Chicago. Being a die-hard North Carolina basketball fan, I found myself walking through the big city streets of Chicago with what seemed like a million other sight-seers. Even in a crowd like that it becomes easy to begin to feel lonely and the target of evil glances. Perhaps those feelings had something to do with the amount of St. Louis Cardinals gear I was wearing, but that’s another article. I did, however, have my North Carolina Tar Heels national championship hat on and I entered an elevator, destined to take me to the top of the tallest building in the city.

They really packed us in that elevator and besides feeling claustrophobic, I also began to feel a little panicky.

But those emotions changed quickly as I glanced through the crowd of faces packed into that elevator. Across the way, practically out of reach was a stranger that instantly became my friend when our eyes met and we quickly realized we had the same North Carolina Tar Heels championship cap resting on our heads. We never spoke. We simply nodded to each other and all was well in that cramped elevator in one of the most dangerous cities in America.

We connected. We became brothers that day. So wherever you are Carolina fan, thank you for calming my nerves on that day. If I could, a Christmas card would be coming your way for all of my remaining days.

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