It's not life and death

By Doug Gorman

Just for the heck of it, I looked up the word sport(s) in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

It might seem like a silly thing to do, but I wanted to see for myself how professional wordsmiths defined such an elementary entry in their dictionary.

Here it is:

A source of diversion or a physical activity engaged in for pleasure.

Perhaps dictionary editors need to redefine the word for the new millenium.

It should perhaps read: A physical activity where winning is the only thing that matters. An event, usually played with a ball, where the outcome is more important than life itself.

Or how about this one?:

A training ground for children to prepare themselves for a lucrative career as a pro athlete and make millions of dollars (Most won't come close to signing a pro contract).

Here's one final definition for sports in this day and age:

An event, such as baseball, that teaches young people that if they don't come out ahead they will suffer ill effects for the rest of their lives.

Does it sound like I have grown a little bit sarcastic?

You bet. Some readers, fans and parents have let sports get totally out of perspective.

I still love sports, and still get enjoyment out of following my favorite teams, but I learned a long time ago that the outcome of a game or who is selected to an all-star team isn't going to matter in the long run.

Some things in sports need a thumbs up or a thumbs down:

Thumbs up: To the Atlanta Braves for naming former POW Ronald Young an honorary captain for the game against the Texas Ranger Monday night.

An even bigger thumbs up for Young serving his country (I bet Mr. Young doesn't care who wins a ball game.)

Thumbs down: Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa for using a corked bat. Even if it was an accident, or a practice bat as he claims, he should not have put himself or his teammates in that situation.

Thumbs up: To Matt Murton for getting selected by the Boston Red Sox in the first-round of Monday's baseball draft. Murton comes from a very nice family and the former Eagle's Landing and Georgia Tech slugger is a class act.

Thumbs down: To the Georgia Bulldogs for selling their SEC Championship rings and to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets who forgot about the college part of being a college football player, thus flunking out of school.

Thumbs up: To the drivers who compete on the Thursday Thunder Legends racing series. I wish I had the time and the guts to try my luck.

Thumbs down: For former Flordia State quarterback Adrian McPherson for gambling on sports when he knows its an NCAA violation. I just hope he didn't shave points during his time in the Seminoles' starting line up.

Thumbs up: To my sister Nancy who has waged a fight with breast cancer for the past year. Now in remission, she will spend the week in Virgina participating in a Breast Cancer Walk with a group of Phi-Mu soriety sisters from her alma mater Elon College.

My sister has battled her illness with faith, humor and positive thinking. Doctors are very optimisitc about her future.

Now do you know why I don't take the outcome of a game as a matter of life or death?

Doug Gorman is the sports editor of the Herald. E-mail at dgorman@henryherald.com.