Sports and Spirituality
Using the lens of athletics to more fully understand the spiritual life
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Sports Moments in 2012: What is your favorite?
When I was seven years old, I had the most memorable, magical
Christmas. My family traveled
north to Tacoma, WA to be with my dad’s side of the family. It was a treat to be in a place where
we might actually have a white Christmas and where I got to open the majority
of my presents a little ealier—after Mass on Christmas Eve. I woke up on Christmas day to find that
Santa left his lot and a stocking full of treats. I tore through my gifts and my mom informed me that I had
one more. From behind the tree,
came a beautiful sight—a wondrous creation. It was a huge, plush white unicorn with a necklace of
flowers around its neck. I hugged
this magical creation and named it Crystal. Who knew that this same creature would serve as the symbol
for what I consider my favorite sports memory of 2012.
It’s a fun question to ask people. What is your favorite sports moment from 2012? And I recommend doing so. Some
responses will be more common than others, but some will surprise you. Perhaps that was Sports Illustrated’s intention as the writers decided this question
would serve as the theme for the final issue of the year: Fans’ Choice for the
Best Moment of 2012.Two Manning
Miracles! Two Giants Comebacks!
But Only One Michael Phelps.
The December 31st issue reminded me that different
fans have different loyalties and different loves. Regardless, reviewing a year through the lens of sport is
easy and fun. And it resonates
with this time of year—a time when we should stand before God with awe and
wonder, joy and delight. It may
seem like an odd prayer at first, but I take such joy in talking about my
sports moment of the year, I can’t help but thank the good Lord for the memory
and the people I shared it with.
Is your favorite sports moment one from the 2012 Olympics—the
London Games? Did it involve the
rise of Linsanity? For Notre Dame
fans, it might not be a single game, but an undefeated season. For many people
in San Francisco, it could be the NFC Championship game when the 49ers defeated
the New Orleans Saints. Or our
second World Series title in three years.
To look through Sports Illustrated,
I was reminded that my lens on the sports world often revolves around my teams; the image on the Table of
Contents page didn’t feature the perfect game of San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt
Cain. No, it was Seattle Mariner Felix
Hernandez. He was one of three
pitchers who threw a perfect game this season. But one’s favorite moment is personal….so let it be yours
and only yours.
Tomorrow I will share why the game now affectionately known
as “Rally Zito,” the game that sought fan support by a picture of 75 riding a
unicorn all over Twitter is my favorite sports moment from 2012.
And, If I see you at a New Year’s eve party, get ready for
this question. I can’t wait to
hear your answer. If it involves
Zeets, we can compare notes.