Grateful for Sports

By Lloyd Graff

I play a little game with myself everyday. I take a moment to think of five things I feel grateful for and then visualize them. I consider this planned minute part of my daily exercise regimen, like stretching and walking on the treadmill.

Tuesday, my Fab Five included getting to watch the NCAA basketball tournament final game and experience opening day of the 2010 baseball season.

Monday night when I was watching the Duke vs. Butler epic I kept saying to myself at each timeout, “What a game!” and “I can’t believe how great this is!” My wife Risa indulged me by sitting down to watch for a few minutes out of deference to her Dad, who went to Duke Law School, but she didn’t really get it—never has. But to me that basketball game was ecstasy, and I love that I loved it so much.

For me baseball season is a religious experience. Opening Day came on Easter Sunday during Passover this year, and I thank God that I reached this day to bask in another long season. The stock market rises and falls and the precision parts world gyrates, but earned run average, home runs and spitting pumpkin seeds in the dugout are forever. Babe Ruth, Ernie Banks, Harry Caray, Wayne Terwilliger (an obscure Cubs infielder of the 1950s) and a million other names I love are embedded in my cerebral cortex.

To a joyous fan like me, Butler vs. Duke, Cubs Cards., Yankees Red Sox are life itself—like making a sale, eating desert and hitting the treadmill. The sports page is Bible. And God willing, I’ll get the Masters this weekend too.

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