I unfortunately cannot recall what purpose this was written for, but I wrote it in April 2004 during my sophomore year at Notre Dame. I titled it "A Love Story."
One fateful summer day, I fell in love. Sports hadn’t previously been a part of my life, but on this day, I fell in love with the Seattle Mariners. I have been head over heels ever since, much to my mother’s despair. She was convinced it was an infatuation, just another passing fling. I don’t know what exactly it was that did it to me; the late 1990s were not exactly what you’d call the Mariners’ heyday, if such a day has ever existed. It must have been the feeling I got as I watched my older cousins excitedly chat about the game we were watching on TV that afternoon, the feeling that they were in some secret society and had their own special language that I did not understand, but so desperately wanted to. I made the decision right then that soon, I would be able to join them.
Looking back, I have no idea how I functioned properly without the fascinating world of sports in my life. I love cheering in the stands with 80,000 of my closest friends as our blue and gold clad football team takes the field, all the while trying not to pass out from the blazing heat. I love standing outside in my green tights and gold skirt in the bitterly cold South Bend winter three hours before tip-off in order to secure the best seats in the house. I love staying up till 2 AM nervously watching the Mariners duel the A’s into the fourteenth inning on my laptop, only to win on a balk by the Oakland pitcher, and then staying up another whole hour complaining to anyone who will listen about how anticlimactic a walk-off balk is. My mother has come to realize that my love affair with sports is one with no end in sight. She has come so far that I have even caught her getting excited about the Mariners herself, and on more than one occasion.
Sports brings out emotions in us that nothing else can convey in exactly the same manner. What is it, exactly? What does this to us? Is it that mixture of the desire to win and our admiration of the athletes, the smell of the freshly cut grass, and how the ballpark frank tastes so much better than any other hot dog anywhere else in the world? Is it how there is always something else to talk about, as long as both of you know at least a little something about sports? Or is it how satisfied we feel for days on end after we beat the big rival, when our favorite player completes the game winning pass, or when the overlooked rookie hits the big shot?
After watching another victory, I know that this love story will end with us living happily ever after. At least until the next game.