When I was younger, I was a big fan of the board game called The Game of Life. Whether you are familiar with it or not, the gist of the game is each player gets a turn and on each turn, the player is presented with a life event type of question dealing with career, family, money, so on and so forth. From there, the players make their choice and move up and down the board accordingly, with an eventual winner declared and the other players revealing where "The Game of Life" took them.
I was reminded of this game tonight as I began watching, what's turning out to be, an amazing documentary on The Discovery Channel called Life. Now, believe me, the documentary is much more real than the simple board game. It discusses and shows the ways living beings have to adapt to survive. Some choose to work in teams to hunt and some choose to work in teams to survive. Others choose to work alone, changing their strategy or technique to live or die while others yet make use of the tools around them to get to the next day.
This got me to thinking... What sport best represents the game of life?
Is it golf? One person with one simple goal carrying all of the tools necessary to survive in one bag. Concentration and focus are the key to survival and you have no one but yourself to blame if you lose, yet no one to celebrate with if you win.
What about football? You and ten other teammates striving to work together in sync with each particular person doing their particular part all with one goal in mind. The sum is bigger than the parts and everyone needs to work together to survive.
Do you think hockey most represents the game of life? Having to do multiple things at one time, using speed, strength and agility to make the perfect shot at a completely protected barrier to win?
Now I'm not saying that I have the answer to this and in all honesty, who does? I do however, have an opinion. I am convinced, without a shadow of a doubt that the game of baseball most closely represents the game of life.
Baseball is the perfect combination of working with others, yet relying on your own instincts to succeed. There is no one else in the initial encounter except the pitcher and the batter. Mind games of where to pitch and what to look for are the best example of one-on-one battles in all of sports. However, if you want to survive, you need your teammates to move you to the next base or come up with the big play defensively.
You have a secret language with your teammates (signs) and you are constantly doing everything you can to survive, up to and including stealing. You play hard, get dirty and one decision or mistake could mean win or lose.
Because of these reasons and many more that I can't list in this blog, I feel baseball mirrors life more so than any other sport...
In any case, I'm interested in hearing your opinions or thoughts on this, so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment.
As a final note, if you haven't seen it you really should catch Life on The Discovery Channel. It's an absolutely amazing show that you will no doubt learn something from. The show is on Sunday nights, is a great way to end your weekend and there's No Bonz About It! For more information on the show, you can log onto www.discoverychannel.ca/life.