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  • Writer's pictureEthan Semendinger

Exploring the Sporting World: A Primer

Baseball and the New York Yankees have my heart. They always will. But, maybe it's time for something new.

 

Who?

I was born into a family that was baseball-first. The night before I was born, my Dad remembers vividly. Not because his wife was nearly 9 months pregnant, but because Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez pitched a gem of a game during Game 4 of the 1998 ALCS against the then-Cleveland Indians. I've shared this story before, but had my Dad gotten his wish (which was- for the most part- a joke), I would've been named "El Duque". If it wasn't clear from that day on for me, not that I knew any better or could choose any part of this, I was going to also become a die-hard fan of baseball. And, under my Dad's guidance, it would be as a fan of the New York Yankees.


That being said, my family was also very fair. My grandpa is a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, but he allowed his son (my Dad) to grow up and root for his rivals. If I had decided to do the same, my father would've allowed me to do so. It's why, when my oldest brother started to revolt and root for the Milwaukee Brewers, my father allowed him to do so. And then, throughout time that same brother had become a fan of the Atlanta Braves (as he was living in Atlanta at the time) and is finding his way back into the Yankee fandom. Eventually, we all find our ways.


My family's fairness didn't just extend through baseball. While it was the #1 sport in the house, my brothers and I weren't raised solely on travel baseball and summer T-Ball teams. We followed the typical sporting arc for a family in the northeast. We only ever played in the local recreation leagues, During the fall we could play soccer, the winter was basketball, and with spring came baseball. In the summer, we wouldn't play any sanctioned sport through our town, but instead would just play in the woods and with our friends and ride our bicycles around the town. Though I played soccer and basketball, I never fell in love with watching those sports. At the time, watching soccer games on TV was hard to come by, and the NBA has never caught my interest. However, I can owe having a bicycle for my first professional venture outside of baseball.


As the story goes- or at least how I like to tell it- my best friend at the time lived just 3 streets up and about 5 houses in from me. He was more fortunate than I as his family gave him an X-Box 360, and when I would go over we would play video games. As it was his house, he was allowed to pick the game- Madden- and his favorite team- the Patriots- for us to play with. I had watched the Super Bowl before this. I knew what football was, but I had never picked a team to root for.


I owe it to my friend for opening up the doors to football for me. I also owe it to (or I blame, depending on who I am talking with) him for making me a fan of the New England Patriots. Maybe a little bit of my grandpa's admiration for Boston wore off on me when I opened up for the first time to another sport as well.


So, for the large part of my life, I have been a fan of mainly two sports: baseball and football. I'm a joint New York Yankees and New England Patriots fan. And, I want to expand that further.

 

What?

Well, over the next week I'm going to share 5 sports that I have recently gotten, or am trying to get into.

 

Where?

Well, on this blog of course!

 

When?

Each day this week at 6:00 PM.

 

Why?

Like I said before, I really want to expand my sporting horizons. I'll always be- and know- the most about baseball, the MLB, and (most importantly) the New York Yankees. I also will always know a ton and still follow the NFL.


However, this past season of the NFL showed me how fickle my fandom really is. It wasn't a super exciting season to follow. The greats still playing from my childhood- namely Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers- had pretty poor seasons. The other greats- Peyton and Eli Manning; Drew Brees- have already retired. The new guys are fun- Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow- but none have pushed into that tier where I really want to schedule my day around watching them. It also goes to say that the New England Patriots weren't fun to watch either.


I've also wanted a reason to express some of my viewing and enjoyment of some other sports that I've been watching recently. A couple sports I've learned from my college friends, some others I've been encouraged to get into from my family, and a couple others just because I'm interested.


I'll see you all tomorrow at 6!

8 Comments


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Jan 23, 2023

It seems clear that you have never lived in the Boston metro area. If you had, as I did for five years, your exposure to the fanbase would have inculcated a complete and utter loathing for all Boston- and Foxboro-based professional sports teams.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jan 23, 2023
Replying to

I was in college in Wilkes-Barre, PA and the Mets fans were obnoxious in 1986.


If one had to choose which fandom was more obnoxious, it was he Mets fans.


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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jan 23, 2023

And you made your dad a Tom Brady fan.

It goes both ways.

Your enthusiasm for the Patriots and Brady made it fun to watch the games together. I wanted them to keep winning so we would have more games to watch together.

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