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On Why We Love Sports: Michael Conroy

I’ve spent my entire life between the suburbs and inner city of Philadelphia. That being the case, my earliest experience with professional sports occurred at a Philadelphia (now Adirondack) Phantoms exhibition game with my father. It may not have been the most important event in the sports world, but to me it was the start of something special.

I came to love Hockey, the Phantoms and the Flyers in the following years. That love inevitably grew to include the Phillies, Sixers and, above all, Eagles. Though I rebelled against the social experience of American sports through my teen years, my father’s appreciation for “four for four” Philly fandom never truly left me.

My brother, Ryan (left) and Me (right)

In America, sports are important. They provide a means of expression on the largest scale possible. There’s something about tens of thousands of people passionately engaging in dejection, celebration, shock and/or confusion that is impossible to manufacture. Thus, it is the last experience that has remained untainted by our mass-production society.

No matter how many big screen TVs and electronic advertisement banners you fill the stadium with, the feeling of a stadium full of people united in jubilee after a game-winning touchdown is pure.

I am a passionate person. Sometimes that passion becomes annoying. I’m okay with that. If I have one hope for this blog, it is for the Banner Years to be a means of expressing that passion for me and a means of validating that passion in others.

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