Perhaps my all time favorite line from Dr. Seuss's beloved holiday classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is this: “How could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags.”
This news sets the Grinch puzzling and puzzling until, well, his poor puzzler was sore. It certainly is something to think about, especially given our consumer-driven materialistic approach to holidays.
Of course, now you're asking, “What does this have to do with sports, Kat?” Everything.
Twice this year I've been at games that were wonderfully well attended, fans clad in school colors, many waving posters bearing the names of favorite players. Thrilled with the turnout, and knowing what such support means to those in the game, I suggested a similar turnout at other games, wanting each team to enjoy the excitement of a big crowd cheering them on.
Sadly, I wasn't always met with enthusiasm. In fact, most times I made the suggestion to show up at another game, I was met with explanations of, “But it's only [insert game/sport here].” Sometimes it was gender related, with the assumption that because of the team's gender, the game wouldn't be very fun to watch. Either way there were excuses, and to me that wasn't cool.
If you're an athlete, regardless of your chosen sport you know how awesome it feels to have someone there cheering you on. You know what it means to look into the stands or along the sidelines and see fans, even a handful. But if you play for certain teams, you also know what it's like to see only a handful of fans, or none at all.
This is a trend I'd like to see changed, and since we're in the season of giving, let's start the change now. If you're lucky enough to play for a team that draws a huge crowd, huzzah. That's special. You know well how great it feels to hear the roar of the crowd, or at least a decent cheer. Now how about giving that experience to another team?
Since all Monomoy home games are now free for students, there's no longer an impact to the wallet of one who wants to see their peers play. That means this is the perfect time to give your classmates, some of whom are your sometime teammates, the gift of your presence at their games regardless of which team is playing or what their record might be. Imagine just what that will mean to the athletes on the field, the court, the course, or the track.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. 'What if Christmas,' he thought, 'Doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?'”
Let's make this year mean a little bit more to all student athletes by giving them the gift of, well, you! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Fabulous Festivus to you all!