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Monday, November 01, 2004

Sports: The Sports Connection 

Peter King writes in his MMQB column:

Some 2,700 miles from Boston, I wore a small Red Sox-logoed fleece Sunday morning to breakfast at the Seattle Westin.

Guy in the elevator had a Red Sox cap and smiled broadly at me.

Waitress in Roy's, the equivalent of the coffee shop, said: "I couldn't get enough of that Yankee series!''

Two woman sitting nearby eyed my shirt, and as I went to the buffet line, one said, "I love Johnny Damon!'' Then she said, "Are you from there?'' I said no, but I follow the team. She said, "Is he married?'' I said no, but I understand he's getting married this offseason. She frowned.

Walking out of the hotel for the football game late in the morning, I encountered three Japanese men looking at a map in the driveway. One saw me waiting for my car. He smiled. "Schee-ling,'' he said, nodding quickly. I said, "Yes.''

I am three time zones away from Franconaville. Feels like three miles.
Isn't it amazing how sports can bring strangers together like that? On Sunday in Denver, Matt and I ate lunch at a local sports bar with several friends. He wore a Red Sox hat, and not long after sitting down, a guy in Sox hat and Patriots shirt walked by, tapped him on the shoulder and sai, "World Champs, man!"

Of course Matt, as his infrequent contributions here show, is forst and foremost a Rangers fan. But that guy didn't know. He saw the Sox cap, and it obviously meant something to him, especially since he's on the other side of the country.

It reminded me of an incident two years ago in Vegas. The day after Texas opened the College World Series with a win against Rice, I passed a guy in a Longhorn polo on the strip. We nodded and exchanged hook'em handsigns, and continued on, but for that moment it was like I was back in Austin.

I think that it's encounters like that, and the ones King mentioned, that make following sports rewarding.


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