A lot of writers I know have no interest in sports. A lot of women I know have no interest in sports. It's too bad as there are some wonderful stories in the sports world.
Several years ago, a member of our state authors club asked me if I was going to attend the state convention in October. "Sorry," I said, "it's a K-State game day, and going to games with my husband takes priority." I won't tell you what she said as she made a sour face, but let it be known she moved me way down to the bottom of the list of people she admired. She left with one word, spoken with derision--Football!
I do enjoy watching our university football and basketball games. Oh let's be honest---I adore watching them and am passionate about both sports. Because we go to the games, I read all the stories about the players and coaches in the sports section of the Kansas City paper and our local newspaper, as well as some online. For one thing, it helps you learn about and understand the players. They come from all over the country and even some foreign countries, from all different types of backgrounds, and with myriad goals in mind.
The coaches bring their own stories beginning with times they might have been college players themselves, then early coaching days and present day coaching stories. Like the players, they come from around the country, have different methods in dealing with the players, and may receive mixed ratings from the players and fans.
It all comes down to this. The players and coaches are people, and everyone has a story to tell. I read only this morning about Bill Self's early coaching career experiences. For those of you who don't follow sports, he's the coach of our rival school in Lawrence, KS, known to all as KU. Rival he may be, but he's a fine coach and a good person. I admire him, even more so since reading today how he has changed over the years.
Time and again, there are stories written in the sports section about players from inner city backgrounds who have used basketball or football as a way out of a difficult environment. It's no different than reading a coming of age novel where we cheer for the hero who climbs from poverty to a good life.
If you don't read some of these stories, you're missing some good writing and inspiring stories.