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12:16 AM Wed, Nov. 14th

Howard: What is the appeal, attractiveness of sport?

My Point

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, center, stands in the back of a Rolls Royce as it makes its way through the crowd lining the parade route June 22 in downtown Cleveland, celebrating the basketball team's NBA championship. On Tuesday, Dec. 27, James, who ended 52 years of sports heartache by bringing Cleveland a championship, was chosen as The Associated Press 2016 Male Athlete of the Year.

Photo by Associated Press.

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, center, stands in the back of a Rolls Royce as it makes its way through the crowd lining the parade route June 22 in downtown Cleveland, celebrating the basketball team's NBA championship. On Tuesday, Dec. 27, James, who ended 52 years of sports heartache by bringing Cleveland a championship, was chosen as The Associated Press 2016 Male Athlete of the Year.

Every sport that has acquired millions of followers has found a niche in attracting people to either participate, spectate or both for a variety of reasons we’ve found appealing.

If you take the main sports of say football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis and golf, all have been around for decades and developed a solid fan base.

For most of us, it’s been engrained from our youth, probably playing one or many of the above in junior leagues or school programs.

With the advent of television, the printed word, radio, and today so many other communication outlets ,they’ve all helped create a world of sports that is very big business.

Professional sports is highlighted with their own TV channels, primetime viewing, ads that tout season ending championships — covering high school games, college and the top professional levels for both women and men.

The best professional athletes are recognized as celebrities, with salaries and sponsorships that make them multi-millionaires almost overnight.

Sports networks, sports magazines and radio shows help to let you know more about each teams players than ever before.

Talk about being held under a microscope. But most of the time it’s more personal than that. It’s fun to be a part of something exciting and somewhat powerful.

Maybe you’re playing on or following your local high school or college teams. You go to the games, get to know the players and enjoy the competition taking place. It becomes “your team.”

The games provide quite a few emotions that can be hard to come by in normal everyday life.

Drama and conflict, skill sets and discipline that seem crazy extraordinary.

On occasion the rules are tweaked to make play more fan friendly. It’s very exciting when the clock come down to the final seconds, the tie-break tells the final story, the batter with bases loaded and two outs needing two runs.

We like having sports heroes, and most realize they’re still human, it’s just what they do is amazing.

Tennis boomed when amateur and professionals were allowed to play together. It really has been a plus to have the TENNIS Channel getting to know more players and behind the scene.

New events and facilities built in great locations.

Glitz can be a little fun. Getting the thoughts of the best players before and after their events is very interesting. Who makes the cut, is drawn on to each team, what they’re paid, and close contests.

The roar of the crowd, cheerleaders, the rival team, overtime, players fouling out, pulling penalty cards.

It all adds into the attractiveness and appeal of the sport you love, and it’s a continual evolution.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 45 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@gmail.com.