Sports may seem inconsequential and frivolous to some, but the hometown pride that many people feel for their town’s sports teams is genuine.
When the Cubs won the World Series last year, there was an eruption of joy coming from Chicago, Illinois and all other places that Cubs fans settled. Whether the link to the team was through family, through college years spent in the area or through a general affection for the Cubs, the joy expressed by the Cubs community was immense and was felt all over the Midwest.
Even viewers who were not Cubs fans felt happiness for the team’s first World Series win since 1908. It was a groundbreaking victory, and stories emerged of grandparents who got to see the win with their grandchildren, devoted fans who cried tears of joy, and families throughout which the win permeated.
It’s certainly true that sports fans have some of the most passionate displays of loyalty.
Consider how many people refer to their favorite sports teams as something that they are a part of—you know, the way that people say “we did really well today,” or “we really bombed that play.”
The underlying threads of these sports teams and fans are of loyalty, community and dedication. The celebrations following the victories of teams are loud and exciting, and victories have the ability to unite people of the same city, state or region, regardless of individual differences.
Hometown pride is a strong force in the United States of America. It’s a blend of nostalgia, family ties, loyalty and gratitude. The same rings true of pride for an alma mater. Alumni frequently travel hours to attend homecoming, bringing along family members and relishing in the opportunity to see old friends.
In a time where there are vast political differences, families spread across the country and instant communication, it’s nice to have the simple pleasure of being with friends and family. It’s nice to be able to celebrate with your entire city over a shared victory. It’s nice to feel deeply connected with those who surround you.
This is what sports, homecoming and community events can do for people. This is what celebration is able to do. The same is true for concerts, where attendees can forget their troubles for a night and enjoy music together. A city can sing the words to their favorite songs together.
It’s truly a privilege to be entertained, to celebrate and to share in victories. People remember these shared feelings of joy and celebration when times are tough.
We get so distracted by our daily lives that we forget God made us creatures who play. We fill our schedules, overwhelm our calendars and go to sleep at night oftentimes without having taken a break for laughter. Celebrations remind us what we are missing in the rush and what there is to remain hopeful for in darkness.
It’s beautiful to see communities unite in times of victory, and in times of sorrow. This rings true for AU as well, and we are proud to be a part of this.