For the record, I only had a chance to see part of the 3rd, 7th and 11th innings (before they scored 😦 ) of the USC/UCLA game in which USC clinched their first national baseball championship. In fact, I’ve hardly watched any of USC’s journey to Omaha this season. Life has been so busy and crazy these past few months. I’ve been purposely keeping myself busy since Mom had major back surgery and was diagnosed with breast cancer. I suppose I’ve re-ordered my priorities and am spending a lot more time enjoying myself and staying in constant contact with my family. (Even if I’m not always home right after work. 🙂 )
I’ve only been to one USC baseball game at their old stadium and one at their new stadium. Crazy, right? I’ve never, however, been a fairweather fan. Since I was a child, I always used USC spring sports, particularly baseball, as my Gamecocks “comfort food.” Whenever we had a disappointing football or basketball season, I would always say “Well, at least we still do well in baseball.”
So it’s absolutely no surprise to me that our baseball team was the first out of the “big 3” to give us a national championship title.
(Of course, I’m not a fairweather fan as I am a proud graduate of USC’s journalism school and was so excited to graduate in their bicentennial year, 2001, which also happens to be one of our fight themes. The bicentennial is noted on my degree that I’m gazing upon right now. I’ve also been working at USC for the past three months and love it. But that’s besides the point.)
This reminded me of my earlier sentiments you may have seen on Facebook. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for college sports. Indeed, it has its moments of insanity and disappointment, but these men and women play with heart. You don’t always get that same kind of emotion out of professional sports, and it’s because many professional athletes treat their job like…well, a job. They play to get paid and that’s about it. I read that professional soccer players don’t have the same salaries as those in baseball, basketball or football and that it shows. I tend to agree. You don’t always appreciate what is given to you freely.
Many athletes treat their talent like the gift that it is and treasure it and, unfortunately, some don’t. It’s sad to hear less news about the positive things athletes have done and more news about the shenanigans of those who flaunt their talent and wealth and use it for despicable purposes.
So to see the South Carolina baseball team consistently work extremely hard for the past couple of decades and stay in the headlines for their achievements is amazing. As a lifelong Gamecock, it’s simply the most amazing thing to see.
“Here’s a health Carolina/Forever to thee”