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The Nostalgia of Baseball

The Nostalgia of Baseball

I quit playing baseball in seventh grade. Lacrosse seemed cooler.

Plus, I was kind of over bubblegum and ranch-flavored sunflower seeds — and my splitter wasn’t breaking the way I wanted it to! (Just kidding, I threw a 55 mph fastball and a “changeup” that was really just a slightly slower fastball.)

Since hanging up my cleats, I’ve swung a baseball bat maybe ten times. It’s just not a sport that you can casually play with your friends, ya know?

And yet, despite all that, baseball holds a special place in my heart that no other sport can touch. Not even basketball, which I’m completely obsessed with; or lacrosse, which I played in college.

Why? Nostalgia.

One of the earliest memories I have is of my dad pitching to me in the front yard. I was probably seven years old at the time.

Like most memories, certain aspects are more vivid than others. Was it spring or summer? No idea. But somehow, I can recall exactly what I was thinking as I waited for the pitch:

Bottom of the 9th. Two outs. Bases loaded. It all comes down to this.

I imagined myself in that moment so many times as a kid. In the yard, in front of the mirror, during whiffle ball games in the summer. Crazy how that stuff sticks with you.

As football season gets underway, baseball will inevitably retreat into the shadows. We’ll keep tabs on the pennant races and tune-in for the postseason, sure, but the majority of our attention will […]

Tom Brady Discusses his 19th Training Camp

This week on Sportuality, we interview five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady about his return to training camp. Has his approach changed heading into season number 19? What was behind his decision to arrive early?

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The NFL is a money-making machine. We attend the games. We buy the jerseys. We watch, listen to, and read the news. Heck, tens of millions of us work unpaid side jobs as fantasy football owners.

None of that happens without the players. None. They are the engine that makes this whole thing go.

As training camp begins, let’s not forget that. Let’s not get so caught up in the rumors and the hot takes that we miss the fact that football is everything to these guys; that this sport is what gives their lives purpose.

To learn more about how our gridiron heroes feel heading into camp, and what they do to prepare for the grueling weeks ahead, we decided to interview one. He’s pretty good.

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ROS: You turn 41 this week. This is your 19th training camp. Naturally, one would expect your approach to be different at this stage in your career. Maybe you try to enjoy the process a little bit more, savor the small moments. Does any of that ring true?

Tom Brady: Over the last few seasons I’ve become a lot more aware of time, […]

The Final Whistle

The Final Whistle

It’s been a week since the 2018 World Cup ended and honestly, I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to write this final piece of my immersion project.

There are three reasons why this has been difficult, and because everything worth sharing can be shared in list format, here you go:

1 – It’s hard to end things.

Ending things is hard, just ask your ex, England’s soccer team, or the writers of LOST. (For the record, LOST is my favorite television show of all time, and I loved the finale.)

2 – I’ve said almost everything I wanted to say about soccer.

I wrote 17 pieces in 30 days while watching the World Cup, and those posts captured how I was feeling in the moment better than any recap I could try to write now. I watched four games in one day, handed out awards, answered your questions, tried to fix multiple sports, learned some lessons, and even skipped church to watch soccer.

(As a reminder, you can read all the pieces here.)

I didn’t know I had that much to say about anything, nevermind soccer.

And finally (and most importantly)…

3 – This is not the end of my soccer journey.

The Final: A Running Diary

The Final: A Running Diary

It’s game number 64 of 64 in the 2018 World Cup!

I’ve made it to the end and have some seen some great soccer over the last four weeks. I’m so excited for the next two hours that I’m breaking out the running diary again! Here we go…

10:54am – The teams come out to The White Stripes’ “7 Nation Army” and all I can think about is Jack White swimming in a pool of money like Scrooge McDuck. Does he make royalties because this is being broadcast all over the world?  

10:57am – Before kicking it to the announcers, studio host Rob Stone says, “it will go down as the greatest World Cup ever,” and it’s not the first time I’ve heard him emphatically say this. Are we sure about this? Is everyone in agreement? I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it has been pretty great.

11:00am – The countdown goes to zero, and Croatia plays it backwards to start the game. Here we go!

11:05am – I’m not sure who I’m pulling for, to be honest.

11:10am – In case you’re wondering, yes, I did skip church this morning to watch this final. My wife Erica is upstairs watching services online right now, and I can hear Pastor Sam giving a spirited message.

11:19am – GOOOOAAALLLLL! The set piece leads to an own goal as the free kick glances off […]