Why I Love Sports And How I Got Back Into Them
Part 2 will be about why I love sports and how I got back involved in them. If you read For The Love Of Sports Part 1 then you learned all about my sports background. For part two I will look into why I got back into sports and why I love sports. I was lucky enough to get on with Sports Talk Line writing and eventually would get media credentials for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
I Would Get Away From Why I Love Sports
In case you missed the last chapter of the story. We left off with me winning a Canadian National Championship with the Vancouver Island Raiders. It was only my first year with the team. Things should be better for me in the second year. There was only one problem! I didn't go back for a second year. Instead, I moved to Whistler British Columbia for a year for some other life choices.
I would return to Nanaimo but would only get back into sports as a fan. I was busy working at a grocery store and was engaged at the time. Sports were on the back burner for me for many years. I was still able to enjoy sports and would follow the St. Louis and now LA Rams. As well as the Vancouver Canucks off and on. I remember the 2010 Canadian gold medal in hockey and the 2011 Canucks run.
Both me and my roommate shared a sad moment after the game 7 thrashing. Then we worried the rest of the night about our other roommate who was out in Vancouver with her brother during the riots. She and her brother were able to get home safely. I would still try and play sports when I could including an annual alumni game for our high school. It never seemed enough for me and I always longed for more.
My friend, who is pictured in the above photo was a top-level High Jumper for Athletics Canada. I would follow him and other athletes I had played with like Andrew Harris. I was on the outside of sports looking in but loved it so much I would always find a way to enjoy it however I could. I would continue to follow sports from the backline and enjoy the games when I could.
I Would Find Why I Love Sports Again in 2016
I had a friend get me into Soccer (Football) for the 2016 Euros. I was instantly hooked to soccer and picked Cristiano Ronaldo as my player of choice. His talent and persona resonated with me from my playing days of sports in general. I watched Portugal march to a European Championship and wondered why I got away from Football. Meanwhile, I was getting back into every other sport I had followed.
The Canucks were retiring the Sedins but a new wave of players like Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes were coming out up in the ranks. I was finding out again why I love sports and it was the perfect time. I also found a love of the Vancouver Whitecaps at the end of the 2017 season. I caught the seasonal finale in the Southsiders section and was hooked!
Why I love sports would get amplified when I became a Vancouver Whitecaps supporter. I would attend several games that year and get to see Canadian Superstar Alphonso Davies in his final game before his departure to Bayern Munich. His last game was extremely memorable for me as I also got to meet Jordyn Huitema who plays for the Canadian Women's National Team. I got the opportunity to talk to her for almost 20 minutes and she was key in orchestrating this moment...
I got back into all sports including the LA Rams, The Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Canucks. I would follow the Rams Superbowl run of 2019 and watch them lose to the New England Patriots in the SuperBowl. I would see the Toronto Raptors led by Kawhi Leonard win the NBA Championship. Only to see Leonard head back home to LA to join the Clippers.
It was an exciting time for sports in Canada I was also getting into social media more. I would tweet a bunch in 2018/2019 about why I love sports and such. And got the interest of a website/ social media platform that wanted to talk about sports. Sports Talk Line had reached out to me in August of 2018 but I was busy taking care of a foster child. It was in June of 2019 that I reach out to them if they were still looking for writers.
The Sports Talk Line Era: Why I Love Sports
I joined on and published my first article on September 2nd of last year. It was about my experience meeting Wayne Rooney after the DC United game against the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2019. Half of the team was out at one of Vancouver's classier nightclubs after the game. I was able to walk over and shake Rooney's hand, kind of surreal to think about now... shaking someone's hand of course! It was something I will never forget.
I would start to figure out again why I love sports so much. I was allowed to write about the Vancouver Whitecaps, Canucks, L.A. Rams, Toronto Raptors, and any other sport I wanted. I was able to get back into the sports world like never before. I asked both Rado Fafilek and Steven Van Over, two of the founder's members of Sports Talk Line about why they love sports and how they got into them. I also asked about how they decided to launch the sports platforms.
"My earliest memories of sport are playing soccer in the streets. My father was in the military and I was born and raised overseas. He was attached to the embassy service and he took us everywhere with him. My first exposure to American Football was in Japan. This was the 60's, 'Nam was cooking. Each military base had its own football team. Many had pro players."
"I remember Johnson AFB had a guy from the Rams and one from the Giants (I believe). Yakota AFB was the one I was closest to (Dad had me live in non-American locales as he was a linguist) and I followed the team closely. I made my own football cards with players stats on them."
"When you went to the American movies they showed football "shorts" before the film. You got two teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys, plus whomever they were playing. Most military from that era are fans of one or the other in large part due to those shorts. I picked the Dallas Cowboys. It was the first time I was forced to admit perhaps I had masochistic tendencies."
"I fell in love with the game. I created my own plays. Used my dog to help me run them (he ran awesome patterns) and visualized myself making big plays."
"I got to the US in the '70s and was able to do a couple of years of high school where I was finally able to play the game for real. It worked out pretty well. As we still moved quite a bit I got to play a lot of positions on new teams. Fullback, receiver, QB, DE, DT (for one play … it was awesome) and a lot of time at CB."
"Was a walk-on in college."
"I ended up working for the same organization my father did for a few years as I went back overseas. I finished up my degree (dance) and worked with the Berlin International Ballet Company. When I returned to the states I joined troupes up and down the east coast, Charlotte Regional, Norfolk Regional and a short sting with Joffrey Ballet in NYC where I even took some classes under Baryshnikov. I ended up as a gymnastic coach and was lucky enough to work with USA Champion Kathy Johnson before the Olympics that never occurred (1980 boycott)."
"Started writing about sports years ago covering primarily the Dallas Cowboys (go figure) and have been published by ESPN and a host of private websites, magazines and news. As an independent photographer, the journalist you could make a nice living for a while. Then the alphabet companies started buying up the independent publications which had the effect of sucking most of the money up the line to the corporate overhead. We as independents were left with peanuts, unable to make a full time living off our skills."
Van, as we like to call him, went on to talk about how the sports talk line brand got started. Stories like this are part of the reason why I love sports.
"Then it happened."
"Similar to the jump in technology in digital audio that had the effect of allowing garage studios all over the world a similar jump in multimedia tech allowed the creation of a broadcast studio at a fraction of the cost. I had conversations with a bunch of fellow journalists over the course of a few days during Cowboys Training Camp in Oxnard, California. The idea of STL came to shape over several glasses of Laphroaig in a great Irish bar. Why not cut out the corporate overhead? Create our own sports entity. STL was born."
Why I love sports continued with a conversation with Rado.
"I was and still am very competitive and sport is one of the best ways to compare your skills with others and I just love kicking ass smile"
When it came to Sports Talk Line Rado said,
"Well I know Van for a very long time, I recall teaching him how to become a better soccer player about 8-10 years ago smile boy we are getting a really old haha smile and we got talking about this venture in May 2018. He has been developing STL for some time and needed somebody with a vision and passion to move STL to the next level. I immediately fell in love with the idea to turn STL into Sports only social media platform and we have been pursuing our dream ever since smile."
Why I Love Sports: The Whitecaps Days
I was ambitious enough to head down to try and cover the Vancouver Whitecaps training camp in San Diego. I was able to figure out where they would be training and reach out to the team. They were very accommodating and welcomed me on the field to take pictures and cover the team. I would get some great shots during training and see some behind the scenes things from the team. The trip was helping me figure why I love sports so much.
During that time I would also get to meet with Van and Rado down in San Deigo. It was a great chance to meet them and solidified my decision to become a member of the Sports Talk Line team. It was an amazing trip and ended up being more work than a vacation but that was alright. I also got to meet Blake Price, Trevor Martins, and Matt Sekeres from TSN 1040. They were all nice and helpful to what I was ultimately trying to accomplish down in San Diego.
I would head out for a game in Portland a couple of weeks later. This time it was with the Southsiders for #CapsOnTour as I hoped in a van with 6 other people and made the drive down. It goes to show why I love sports that I would cramp into a van for a long road trip to watch a preseason game. We would get into town and march through the streets of Portland chanting. This is why I love sports!
I would receive a call from the Vancouver Whitecaps the day I returned to Vancouver Island. They had decided that they would provide me with Credentials on an Interm basis. It would depend on how much I wanted to show an interest in the team and writing about them. I was thrilled with the chance and why I loved sports suddenly had a new meaning. While I would only get one chance to attend a game as media before all the shenanigans started I was grateful. I will continue to bring as much Whitecaps content as possible so stay tuned for part 3 about why I love sports.
Stay Tuned For Part 3 Of Why I Love Sports
You have read how I gotta into sports and how I got out of sports. You have read about my venture back into Sports Talk Line and how they started the company.
Now in part 3, we will hear from different sports personalities and athletes about how they got involved in sports and why they love them so much. I spoke with Jake Nerwinski and others from the Vancouver Whitecaps. I talked with different sports personalities from TSN 1040. And I spoke with various other people involved in sports.
Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and follow me on Twitter for why I love Sports now and always will despite them not being on.