Sports can bring out the best in us, too [COLUMN]

This is the kind of joy I see at every event I go to in Shelby County. Sure, there are some people who feel the need to question the officials’ training and vision, but for the most part the average Shelby County sports fan demonstrates nothing but pure elation and joy. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

This is the kind of joy I see at every event I go to in Shelby County. Sure, there are some people who feel the need to question the officials’ training and vision, but for the most part the average Shelby County sports fan demonstrates nothing but pure elation and joy. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

Sports sometimes get a bad rap.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about how fans of opposing teams lose their minds in the heat of battle and do awful things to each other, be it fighting, poisoning/destroying landmarks or even worse.

Yeah, sports can bring out the worst in us, for sure.

But I feel the need to stand up for sports — and not just because they provide a source of income for me. As bad as they can make us act, they can also bring out some of the purest joy in us too.

Take for example myself two weeks ago. If you read these columns with any regularity, you know I’m a huge fan of the Los Angeles Kings hockey club. The team has toiled in utter futility for most of my life, but clinched their second championship with a game-winning goal in double overtime at home. To put it in perspective, imagine that this past year’s Iron Bowl ended in exact same fashion, but in quadruple overtime — and with the national championship riding on the outcome.

There were elated yelps of joy. There were laps run around my apartment. There were people knocking on my floor below me reminding me I no longer live in a house and random outbursts at 11 p.m. tend to be frowned upon.

This is the kind of joy I see at every event I go to in Shelby County. Sure, there are some people who feel the need to question the officials’ training and vision, but for the most part the average Shelby County sports fan demonstrates nothing but pure elation and joy.

It gives me hope to see that we can have so many different events and teams, and at the end of the day know these are just games made for people to enjoy.

There’s something to be said for the feeling that happens when a team that we as fans invest in emotionally achieve the pinnacle of their sports.

When that emotional investment also involves representing our neighborhoods, our towns and our county, it’s just that much more beautiful.