By Dave Bruning
I was lying in bed last night scrolling through Facebook. Social media creates such bad habits. Yet, given the opportunity, redemption is just a moment away. A wonderful post by a friend of mine provided redemption and inspired the thought process for this blog. The post, courtesy of Ricky Newman, is as follows:
“Once and a while I hear something I actually want to outside my apartment. A young child’s heartfelt goodbye that I just overheard made my day.”
His sentiment and words struck a chord with me. I have a 5-year old daughter. My response to his post was as follows:
“The sweetest part of my day is the hug my daughter gives me when we say goodbye. In that moment, life is perfect.”
After I overcame the nostalgia, I thought about the occurrence of hugs in the sporting world. They come in many forms: the chest bump, the bear hug, the dog pile or the merciful boxing referee cradling a defeated fighter. All forms show enthusiasm, passion and compassion.
Sports on their face are so emotional, it is only natural a hug is such a natural expression of that emotion. Baseball players celebrate a game winning hit with a group hug at home plate. Golfers embrace their caddies after winning a golf tournament and parents are there to hug their children as they experience the highs and lows of playing sports. A powerful embrace celebrates victory and consoles in defeat at the same time.
The current NCAA basketball tournament showcased the beauty of a great hug. The University of Creighton is coached by Greg McDermott. His son, Doug McDermott, is likely the player of the year in college basketball and the finished his college career as the #5 all-time scorer.
Creighton was eliminated by a red-hot Baylor team. As the game neared its conclusion, the younger McDermott was removed from the game for the final time in his career by his father. Their respectful, heart-felt hug is the top moment of this year’s tournament. The two men wrapped their arms around a wonderful and unique sporting experience with a hug.
A hug from the heart is a huge part of life. It is also a celebratory and passionate part of our sporting world. Magical moments occur when you combine both. Ask the McDermott’s. My daughter and I are pretty fond of the hugs we share as I introduce her to the beauty of playing sports. Thanks, Newman! I owe you a hug!