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The Beauty of Sports

On Imported Blog

I love sports. I love the teams that I follow and I love to compete. I love the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into every minute. I love all of it. But what I love the most is the unity it creates among a group of people. Sports teams have brought together schools, cities, and countries when they need it the most. It has caused a society ravaged by internal disputes to jointly support a a common cause.

One of my all-time favorite movies is Remember the Titans. On the surface it's a story about an unlikely football run, but it really is about the struggles of school integration and how one school was able to handle it through football. The athletes had to come together, play together, and work together as a team so they could all achieve their collective goal. Inspired by their team, the high school students themselves united as one to support this team that was making history. Another popular instance of a racial divide being eradicated by sports is in Invictus, where South Africa's apartheid is united through rugby. Didier Drogba also stalled a Civil War in his home country by using his influence as the star of the Ivory Coast National Football (Soccer) team.

While I have not experienced something as dramatic as these stories, I do have some experience. Now my school lacks spirit for own sports teams, but the passion for the Houston Rockets during the NBA Playoffs is amazing. Even though it's only the first round, all throughout the hallways are conversations about the game. Friendships are made because of this shared interest, shared support of this team that embodies values that we want to see in ourselves. The Rockets call themselves "Red Nation" because all the fans come together and act like a united country. When they win a game, it's pure ecstasy. Celebrating is only fun when it's with others. And when they lose, at least we lose together. It's much, much more tolerable when you can share defeat and resentment.

Athletes are among the most influential people in the world, whether people feel that's right or not. In all honesty, most kids strive to be LeBron James rather than Barack Obama. Athletes have this power to have a huge following that will mimic what they're doing. When they use this ability to support a good cause, such as uniting two different cultures, amazing things happen.

Phil and Bill - Comparing the greatest NBA and NFL coaches of my life to date.

On The 4 Hour Struggle

Phil Jackson: 6'8", athletic, and charismatic. A former player that had the respect of everyone. 11 rings as a head coach and 2 as a player. A practitioner of Zen Buddhism.

Bill Belichick -- Too small to play football, son of a coach and scout. Uncharismatic, but has been studying film since he was 9 years old. He gained respect by his knowledge of the game. 4 rings as a head coach and 2 as a defensive coordinator.

Jackson was a master of dealing with egos. In the NBA, guys like Kobe, Jordan, Shaq, don't come around very often. So as a head coach, it is much more difficult to have only "your type of guys" if you want to win an NBA championship when compared to the NFL.

When Chicago was going on their 2nd run, they recognized a need for interior defense. After clearing it with Scottie and Michael, they traded for Dennis Rodman and Phil assimilated the enigmatic player into a key piece in the 1996-98 3peat.

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