Hendricks County Flyer
— Regardless of how seriously you take your sports, they can be therapeutic in ways you never realized, as my 2013 proved.
With a divorce and its accompanying difficulties and decisions, this year was easily the toughest of my life. Sports have very much helped me get through it all.
First, the Butler men’s basketball team. Over the past year, on the East Coast, in Florida and here, my 7-year-old son has seen a half-dozen games with me and met many of the players, as well as former coach Brad Stevens. The thoughtfulness shown by the Bulldogs in making a kid feel special, well, it’s hard for me to even put into words without welling up. They are who I wish I’d been if I’d had even a hint of their maturity at that age. They are young men who I envision my own sons growing up to be like.
I’m glad my son got to meet Stevens before he headed to Boston. On a frigid night in Philadelphia last January, Butler lost to LaSalle in a real crap-fest. After the game, Stevens came up to him, thanked him for coming, apologized for the loss and signed his ball. I won’t forget it, and neither will my son.
Second, the Indianapolis Colts. I’ve been a season ticket-holder since 2005 and covered the team for a few years, but pretty much missed the past two seasons entirely, being too far away for gameday travel. This season, it’s been great to be back in Lucas Oil Stadium watching a hard-nosed team led by another tremendous human being in Chuck Pagano.
More than the games themselves, it’s been awesome to see them and tailgate with good friends that I didn’t get to see near enough, or at all, in the five years I was gone from the area. We’ve also met a few new folks who’ll be part of the festivities for years to come.
Next, the Indiana Pacers. After enduring the Dark Years, it has been a pleasure to come back and watch this team, one that the city and state can be proud of. The squad’s on-court exploits are phenomenal, but so are its efforts off it. The community work they do is genuine, not forced. You can see it in their eyes. With any luck, it’ll be a group we can relish for a long, long time.
Lastly, it has been great to again cover high school athletics, something I hadn’t done full-time since 2009. Even top-level professional athletes will tell you they enjoyed that part of their sports lives the most. While money pollutes much of the sporting world, that’s where purity remains, and the realness and emotion can’t be matched by anything else. The brotherhood and sisterhood forged by playing next to your lifelong friends and classmates is an unbreakable bond, one that most non-athletes never experience in life.
When times are tough, sometimes comfort comes from unexpected things. For me, this year, it was sports.
May your 2014 be a great one, and may your sporting dreams come true.
– Brent Glasgow is a sports writer for the Hendricks County Flyer and Westside Flyer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 272-5800, ext. 173. Follow him on Twitter @BGlasgow37.