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Our Love-Hate Relationship with Sports: Valentine’s Day Edition

02/10/2016, 5:00am PST
By Kelvin Cech

The big day is right around the corner. No, it’s not Christmas or Thanksgiving, it’s the one day of the year that causes more stress and pressure than any other. 

Valentine’s Day. 

Are these flowers too expensive? Would I look like a nerd if I bought her this jewellery?

Sure you would if you handed it to her and said “hey you, here’s a jewellery I bought for you” and then handed her a Shopper’s Drug Mart bag. 

There’s a lot about Valentine’s Day we don’t understand and you’ll likely hear about it enough this weekend, so let’s talk about something we do understand. 

Sports. 

If Valentine’s Day were a hockey team, it would be the Edmonton Oilers. So much wasted talent and promises of a better future. 

But we do love sports, and here’s why. 

Redemption

I’m not even a basketball fan, but I remember well the day Lebron James cast aside his hometown in favour of the sights and sounds of South Beach, Florida. Lebron seemed like a classy guy prior to the big trade, but afterwards he was public enemy number 1. Fast forward a few years and despite losing the NBA championship last year to my boy Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, Lebron is once again the Prince of Cleveland and everyone loves him again. Who among us doesn’t enjoy a good redemption story? 

Heroes

Back to Steph Curry. Five teams passed on Curry in the 2009 draft, and now he’s the NBA’s reigning MVP and more importantly, brought a championship back to a franchise that was once left for dead. It was right around this time last year I fell in love with Steph Curry for the first time when I saw a blue number 30 Warriors jersey in an outlet mall in Phoenix. I had no idea who he was at the time, but I sure know who he is now. And you probably do, too. 

Heels 

It’s impossible not to fall in love with the darker side of professional sports. We’re all guilty of revelling in the drama in which professional athletes get trapped because it’s not happening to us and they can probably buy their way out of it anyways. Case in point: I don’t really know who Johnny Manziel is other than the fact he’s famous for all the wrong reasons. Professional athletes acting like heels is fun, good-natured man-drama. Right? 

Determination

For every Johnny Manziel there’s a Brandon Davidson. The former captain of the Regina Pats was drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 NHL entry draft after being passed over completely in his first year of eligibility. He would later be diagnosed with testicular cancer and miss almost an entire season of hockey. Now at the age of 24, he’s emerged as a full-time national hockey league defenseman, leap-frogging more than one more heralded prospects along the way. 

Professional sports offers a mirror running parallel to real life. The ups and downs, the failures and the conquests - investing oneself emotionally in sport gives us something special to hold on to in both good times and bad, and it doesn’t really have a tangible impact on our lives.

Now, please excuse me, I’m going to watch the Oilers’ game. 

(heart breaks, sobs uncontrollably)

photo credit: LOVE via photopin (license)

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