Sports evoke the highest of emotions

By Nick Childs

As a sports fan, I have been trying to look at the big picture when it comes to sports viewing. I ask myself questions like, what am I going to think of an experience like this in 10 years? 20 years? My point being, I don’t want to miss out an opportunity that I might be bragging about to my kids.

So far this past calendar year, I think my most meaningful experience was seeing Tim Tebow’s first TD pass and second start, in person. (His second start was that memorable comeback against the Texans. I hope in 30 years, Tebow will be a Bronco’s legend and that will be an incredible memory.

After being at the BYU vs. CSU game on Saturday, I have been thinking about what that game might mean to me down the road. Here is what I have come up with so far:

1. This was most electric atmosphere I have ever been a part of. The crowd was insane which makes me all the more excited for San Diego State to come to town.

2. It is the best experience I have had watching CSU’s varsity athletics. I specify varsity because I have been a part of two NCBA national championship teams in my time at CSU.

3. Jimmer Fredette is one of the best pure scorers and best all-around basketball players I have seen at the amateur level. I would love to be telling my kids that I saw the Naismith player of the year in person. Jimmer is the complete offensive package. He is quick, to go along with superior ball handling skills. He is great at creating space. (He has mastered the discrete push off that the refs somehow always seem to miss. He is great at finding open men when the defense collapses when he effortlessly gets to the paint. So whenever BYU is on TV, I urge all of you to watch him do his thing. You one day may appreciate that you did.

However, I have to put him second on my list of pure, amateur scorers that I have seen in person. Jared Bayless takes that cake. While I was living in Phoenix, I head a lot of buzz about this high school player that was heading to the University of Arizona. He was playing at St. Mary’s High School, and his team was in the state semifinals. From the first possession of the game I was awstruck. Bayless came down the floor, crossed his man, elevated higher than I have ever seen a high school player get up and drilled at 25-foot three pointer. He ended the game with something like 35 points. It was an easy 35 at that with plenty of highlights.

Other honorable mentions include former Gonzaga great, Matt Bouldin, and former Duke great, Abby Waner. Both of these players attended Thunder Ridge High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. My favorite Matt Bouldin memory came from warm-ups of a game in which he was taking on Cherry Creek, my alma mater. He hit about 10 threes in a row, and when he finally missed one, our crowd chanted “overrated.” That’s when you know you are good. My favorite Abby Waner moment is similar to Bouldin’s but came during the game. She was lighting us up, and in the fourth quarter she missed a fall-away jumper, so, like the dumb high school students we were, we again chanted, “overrated.” The next time up the floor, Waner takes a quick look at the crowd and pulls up from, I kid you not 10 or 15 feet behind the 3-point line and drilled it! She then turned to the crowd with a smile on her face… High school kids can be so dumb sometimes. Why on earth would we even give her the chance to embarrass us like that? As if losing by 25 wasn’t bad enough. It was like rubbing salt in a wound.

On a sidenote: Cherry Creek’s men’s team went on to the state championship game, losing to Matt’s alma mater, Mullen High School. You can watch former Mullen standout, Devin Aguilar catch passes from Jake Locker at the University of Washington.

My point is this: Sports are special, and you never really know what exactly a sports memory might mean to you in 30 years. So from time to time, take a step back and think about these things. The memories that I have of these events don’t even scratch the surface of the events that I have seen, and I hope that others can say the same thing. Sports may not be the most important thing in the world, but they can touch us in the deepest ways, evoke the most emotion. Sometimes we cry in joy; sometimes we cry sadness; sometimes it’s a combination of the two. Regardless, it means something to us, and that’s why we love it so much.

(That last paragraph was for me. I started the last baseball season of my career on Sunday, and I have been entirely conflicted by it. All I know is that I have created memories that mean the world to me and may not mean anything to anyone else. That’s another great part about sports: each memory holds a differnt place in our heart.)

What memories still give you the chills? If you read this, please take 30 seconds to leave a summary of a memory that gives you goosebumps! We could get an awesome list going.

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19 thoughts on “Sports evoke the highest of emotions

  1. I’ll start: I get a lump in my throat and goosebumps all over my body anytime I hear Dave Logan screaming “Oh baby, we are gonna win this thing. Congratulations, Denver, the world champions live in your town!” This was from Super Bowl 32, and is always accompanied by celebration shots of Bill Romanowski and John Elway. Pat Bowlen shouting “This one’s for John!” always does the same thing.

  2. The moment that gave me the most goosebumps undoubtedly came in the ’07 Super Bowl. Trailing 14-10, the Giants had one drive to do the impossible: beat the team that hadn’t been beaten all year. As a Giants fan, I spend so much time dedicated to watching my team play. I follow their message boards, I bet on them, I argue adamantly with my buddies. I’m an obsessed fan. By the time they pulled off an improbable playoff run, kinda like this year’s GB squad, I couldn’t accept the fact of them coming up short in the world’s biggest game. It wasn’t “The Catch” that evoked the most emotion in that game – although that was an other-worldly moment. Instead, it was Joe Buck’s call on the game-winning Plaxico TD – “MANNING…LOBS IT…BURRESS…ALONE…TOUCHDOWN NY!!” In that moment I was speechless. I was stuck in the moment. The Giants had just done the impossible. Nothing could’ve made me happier at that instant. I also love when NFL Films showed Strahan rallying the troops before the final drive – “One more TD and we’re world champions! 17-14. Believe it! And it will happen! 17-14!”

  3. I saw Greg Maddux get his 3000th strikeout in person at Wrigley Field while on a road trip to see the all the ballparks of the Midwest with my best friends from high school. I’ll NEVER forget that.

    Also Nick, will you ever forget our one tournament win as the Bruins in Steamboat lol?? One of my all-time favorite moments as a player

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  5. Nothing will compare to the highs and lows that I had felt during the 2007 play in game @ Coors Field. San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies. That year in itself was one that was tough for me. My dad, the ultimate Rockies fan, had passed away in January. Every game they won down the stretch was incredible and I couldn’t help but wonder if the streak was a fluke. (I lost my phone in New York arguing with Matt about this) Then to find out there was going to be a one game takes all for the Wild Card and chance to reach the playoffs, my emotions were all over the place. I made sure to get tickets as soon as possible and ended up getting nose bleed seats behind home plate, slightly towards the first base side. After the back and forth game, I could have sworn the Rox were done for after Matt Holliday miss played a routine flyball. Then double after double after double in the bottom of the inning and all the sudden there was hope. My seats gave the perfect view ffor the faceplant that Holiday so gracefully gave us and the place erupted. The party kept going as the entire crowd mobbed down Blake Street. There isn’t much in life that can create a scene like that and stir up emotions in a person than sports.

  6. Michael Crabtree catching the ball with :01 left to beat those rotten University of Texas dirtbags in Lubbock. It ruined their National Championship chances completely…

  7. Nick, you said it perfectly. “Sports may not be the most important thing in the world, but they can touch us in the deepest ways, evoke the most emotion. Sometimes we cry in joy; sometimes we cry sadness; sometimes it’s a combination of the two. Regardless, it means something to us, and that’s why we love it so much.”
    We never know how truly great we are while we are in the sport because we are always striving to be better, the best. But the memories are what we take with us. That and the self confidence to try anything, get through any tough spot and know we can survive. The friends we take from those sports last a lifetime, no matter how far away they are.
    Lastly, watching someone new,much younger, and more technologically advanced in the sport achieve heights we never achieved? Not a sad moment, but proud to have been part of something great.
    I still sob my way through every Olympics and watch every moment of them proud to be an American athlete.

  8. As a “jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none” athlete, I have know the thrill of many small victories and the agony of many non-noteworthy losses. As a sports fan, I have many sports memory moments that I cherish. Amoung these was getting to watch all my tennis heroes play in Denver back in the ’70s when the WTC and Virginia Slims tours came to town – Rod Laver (the driving force behind my tennis aspirations), Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, John Newcomb, Roscoe Tanner, Martina Navratalova and Chrissy Evert, to name a few. Mom and I would go to the matches and watch, spellbound, until the last point was played out. Goosebumps…

  9. Mr Childs you got to see Laver play?! That is sooooo awesome. I still don’t think people know just how talented he really was.

  10. Thank you everyone for their responses. This has been pretty neat. In the near future we will be seeing a feature story highlighting the many accomplishments of my aunt, Jeanne Childs Siragusa. Gotta love a chance to brag about a family member and tell the readers about a very unique walk through a swimming that included the joys of being a national record holder and hall of famer, as well as the disappointments of political circumstances that killed olympic dreams! – Just a little teaser.

  11. Matt, Rod Laver was my inspiration and my idol. He once said, “if you want to be good at tennis, all you need to do is to hit a tennis ball 1 million times.” I played as many matches as I could, wore out 3 of my parents garage doors and spent hundreds of hours hitting against the wall at Fort Collins High School while I was at CSU, and I truly believe that I hit the mark of 1 million hits. Laver was a small man at 5′ 7″, but his left arm, especially the forearm, was as big and muscular as that of Rocky Graziano, the professional boxer – quite in contrast to his small frame. Being a lefty myself, I worked hard to build up my left arm to try to match his. Rod Laver was a key member of the foundation of men’s tennis – Rosewall, Laver, Kramer, Budge. The new breed started with Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Conners and John MacEnroe – they were great, they took the game to a new level, but they owe their tennis lives, as I do, to Laver and the other pioneers.

    Keep up the great work Matt! I love your site!

  12. I think you’ll like the latest article I linked to, it’s a piece about Connors. Check it out!

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