My summer in sports was divided into two parts: the parts that involved work and the parts that involved being a fan.
When I asked to work at my local newspaper last spring, I certainly never expected that I would be writing about a boxing club, lemonade stands or walking with the mayor of my hometown this summer, but hey, it’s all part of the lovely experience of being an intern.
My official title was “sports intern.” I definitely had some interesting twists on what “sports” are considered. I mean, a nature walk is technically a sport, right? In all seriousness though, even the stories that weren’t about sports were fun and helped me grow as a writer. The true sports stories that I had the opportunity to write covered a vast spectrum of topics. Most of my time was devoted to Hot Stove baseball, which is like Little League. Each summer, the state tournament takes place in my hometown. A lot of local teams make a splash in the tournament, and in preparation, I previewed a few teams and covered their fight in the state finals. I also wrote golf, softball and wrestling stories. And kept box scores. There were a lot of box scores. Those were painful.
That was the work part of my summer that involved “sports”—using the word loosely, of course.
As depressing as it is, I’m an Indians fan, so no summer is complete without as many trips to Progressive Field as possible. Unfortunately, I didn’t get out to the ballpark as much as I would have liked this summer, and when I did, they usually lost. I did see a pretty awesome superhero-themed post-game fireworks show. I mean, the Avengers theme song does ease the pain of a loss better than expected.
The best game I got the chance to go to wasn’t even in Cleveland. My mom and I made a trip to Florida this summer, in part
because the Indians would be in Tampa. That game was incredible. It was unbelievable how many Indians fans were there and they were LOUD. Of course, it’s loud in Tropicana as it is, but the cheering in favor of the visiting team was remarkable. It was a comeback win, and that was in July before the Indians got really bad, so it actually felt like it could mean something. The Indians fans in attendance definitely forged a bond. It was great.
I also insisted on seeing Marlins Park on our way to Key West earlier in the week so we could see the new stadium. The Marlins were facing the Nationals. Steven Strasburg started and I got to see the hyped Bryce Harper. I didn’t have a sincere interest in either team, so it was a strange feeling. I didn’t know which to root for, but it only seemed right to root for the home team. Of course they lost because that’s my luck. So this is my apology to Marlins fans, my bad guys.
While I do love baseball, soccer is my first love. For most of my life, it was a dominating factor in my summer. Now that I’ve graduated, there’s one day during the summer when I get to pretend that it’s still my life—the Alumni Game. While my old teammates, coaches and I may have joked about how old we were, we put up a pretty good fight. I’m a goalie, so there was speculation that I might break a hip. I’m happy to say that I avoided injury. Usually the current team crushes the alumni, but this year we were victorious. It felt good to be back.
My summer was a balance of being a sports writer and being a sports fan. The writing part was interesting and being in the newsroom, there never seemed to be a dull moment. It was a long summer for being an Indians fan, but as all Cleveland fans know, there’s always next year.