By: Lee Ramsey
Make no mistake about it, football is America’s game. It is the spectator’s favorite by a landslide. The proof is in pro and college TV ratings, packed pro and college stadiums on Saturday and Sunday and huge crowds on Friday nights at the local high school games.
The Seymour Eagles and the UT Vols are good examples locally of just how important football is to the local sports fan. By the way, the word ‘fan’ is an abbreviation for the word ‘fanatic’. Therefore, if we are not a fanatic about a sport or team then we aren’t really a fan.
Football is definitely the center ring at the circus.
The late, great Ray Mears, former basketball coach at the University of Tennessee even made the statement that “football was the big show in college sports.” It was bigger than basketball or any other sport. Bruce Pearl also agrees with Coach Mears.
It isn’t for everyone, but if you took a vote it wouldn’t even be close.
That is why football players get most of the glamour and news coverage, not to mention the attention of the girls. That’s just the way it is.
The tragedy in this is the fact that other sports and athletes don’t get the credit that they should.
Basketball is second and probably baseball is third in popularity. I’m talking about in the U.S., Tennessee and Seymour, not worldwide. That is another subject.
I have always fallen in the same category, but the more I cover sports articles, the greater appreciation I have for all the other so called minor sports.
It doesn’t matter what the sport, it’s an amazing experience to witness the most advance athlete perform in his individual sport.
Every sport and the athletes that participate should be respected and admired.
Most of us fall into the category of not doing that. We admire and respect the major sports such as football and basketball, but out of ignorance or just plain lack of intelligence we totally ignore the minor sports.
A good example of this was when I was told that Seymour High School had a bowling team. The first time I heard that I was somewhat amused thinking – bowling? I had just made the typical mistake of underestimating a sport.
Recently I was asked to cover a bowling match between Seymour High School and Sevier County. I was surprised at the intensity and competitive atmosphere.
There was no difference in the intensity of Seymour bowlers than Seymour football players, but what impressed me most was the performance of a Seymour bowler named Corey Cox. To watch him operate was amazing and I’ve witnessed a lot of big time sports.
Cox rolled six straight strikes. He displayed absolute perfection in his sport. It didn’t matter what sport. The point was he achieved perfection for six straight frames.
Earlier in the year Cox bowled a perfect 300. That is absolutely incredible especially since I had just bowled a 95 a couple of weeks earlier.
After witnessing that bowling match, I made up my mind to never underestimate any sport again.
How many fans were there that day? Not many, but that isn’t the point. The fans or fanatics don’t play the game; athletes do.
The fact that there were far less fans at a bowling match than a football game doesn’t take away the fantastic athletic performance of Corey Cox or any other athlete with a similar performance in any sport.
Take away fan attention and everything is pretty much equal.
Minor sports should be respected, admired, and taken very seriously by anyone who considers themselves a sports fan.
Appreciate all Sports
By: Lee Ramsey