Amelia Giese (she/her)
Editorial Team Member

Anyone who has spoken to me between the months of April and November knows that I eat, sleep, and breathe baseball. A pretty good example of my obsession took place on Opening Day of this year. I was out to lunch with friends while on vacation, and I was watching a game on my phone of two teams I didn’t even like instead of socializing. That’s how much I love this sport. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m watching the Cubs game. I have watched Cubs games while doing my homework, while studying with friends, while in class, and pretty much whenever they’re on. I love the Chicago Cubs. They’re so fun. Sports are so fun.

I don’t really watch other sports that aren’t baseball. I can name every Chicago sports team, but that’s about it. I watch the Superbowl every year, and I tried to get into hockey, but nothing has  really had me as head-over-heels as baseball has. Growing up, I did gymnastics, but at some point in elementary school, I stopped and began swimming, which I did all the way through high school. I tried softball my freshman year, during the swim off-season, but I didn’t click with it like I had with swimming. The following year, instead of returning to the softball team, I joined the water polo team, and I fell in love with it. While water polo was really the only sport I ever prioritized over anything, I eventually came to realize that sports are a really integral part of my life and of society. 

There’s so many reasons people love sports. It’s fun to have a team to root for and a team to root against. They’re pretty simple to get into; you don’t have to know what BABIP is to enjoy baseball (in case you’re curious though, it stands for “Batting Average on Balls in Play” which basically means the percentage of times that you make it on base when you hit a ball in play). You can also just turn on a sport and enjoy it, and most of them are pretty fun to watch even when you don’t know what’s happening. Teams create community and a sense of belonging, especially when your team is really good. But more importantly, they’re fun to play.

Now that my career as a student athlete has come to an end, as I am about to graduate high school and do not plan on playing competitively in college, I have finally realized how much of an impact sports have had on me. While they resulted in a myriad of injuries, attending practices, games, and meets were often the highlights of my days. I met most of my close friends on my sports teams. I have learned so many lessons about effort, focus, and self esteem in my time as an athlete. But most importantly, I had a good time, especially during the water polo season. Our team was not very good at all, but we had so much fun with each other both in and out of the pool, and that was so important.

I was lucky enough to be able to have some pretty great coaches, teammates, and opportunities throughout my entire life, and everyone deserves to have those opportunities. Sports are important, if you are an athlete or a fan, and everyone deserves to have a team to root for, whether you play for them or not. Go Cubs!