December 15, 2012
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The role that sports should play in our society has suddenly become a hot topic in the media. In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the New York Knicks lit up Madison Square Garden in an emotional victory over the villainous Miami Heat. At that moment in time, the Knicks served as an outlet for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Those who had no power were able to forget their troubles for a couple of hours and come together to rally behind one team.
But despite the seemingly unifying effect of the game, there remained a few dissenting New Yorkers who claimed that this was simply not the time for basketball. While I wholeheartedly disagree with these folks, they do bring up an important point about the role that sports should play in one’s life.
Now, this may be the senior in me talking, but I’ve recently had to take a step back and examine my perspective on sports and what role they should play in my future in college. As a student it seems as if there is always a next year and that sports will seemingly never have an impending and sudden ending. The sudden realization that sports will have an ending has made me step back and reexamine the size of the role they should play in my life.
Although it may be cliché and beaten to death, the NCAA advertisement that preaches “many athletes will be going pro in something other than sports” holds significant weight and truth value. Let’s take, for example, 2 Chainz. Yes, you read that correctly. 2 Chainz a.k.a. Tauheed Epps is surprisingly enough, a shining role model for student athletes. After being recruited to play basketball Alabama State, Epps transferred to Virginia State University to continue his career as a student-athlete. At Virginia State, he graduated in three years with an astounding 4.0 GPA.
Rather than blindly pursuing a career in the NBA, Epps decided to become a rapper and now has become perhaps one of the most popular and successful musicians of the decade. Don’t let lines like “she got a big booty, so I call her big booty” fool you. Epps utilized the opportunity that sports gave him to get an education and become better suited to transfer his skill set to the real world.
Now Paly, as many of us come into our junior and senior years, we are considering participation in collegiate athletics. While I fully support participation in college athletics, we must take a step back and reassess things at times. Sports never have been and never will be the be-all and end-all for many people, especially in an affluent and educated town like Palo Alto. While many of us may have the opportunity to play sports in college, we should use those opportunities given to us to get an education and pursue a career, rather than attending a school simply for its athletic prowess or shiny facilities.
Sports can provide some of the most memorable and enjoyable moments in one’s lives. However if one focuses solely on sports, their life can be ruined by one misstep and resulting ACL tear. If I can leave you with one message Paly, it’s that one must keep everything in perspective. While talented athletes such as 2 Chainz use their athletic ability to open new doors for themselves, many other athletes set on their blinders and focus only on collegiate athletics, regardless of the school they attend. Although ESPN would tell you otherwise, life is more than just sports.