Originally Published: July 23, 2018 10:38 p.m.
There are millions and millions of sports fanatics, and have been for centuries, more now than ever before.
Most of these people live, breath and die (remember that word) to be a part of the sport they love and go out of their way to watch special events on television. They purchase pay for view when they need to, get the up-grade of ESPN or buy season tickets. They know all the players by name as well as their stats, root for the home team — even when they have a losing season or seasons, mortgage their home to go to a Super Bowl, NBA final series game, Grand Slam, and many outside that circle just will never understand this type of passion.
But it’s even more than that. The experience of going to one of the major race tracks, car or horse, the stadiums, grounds, colleges, the excitement of the moment with the bands, the cheerleaders, and certainly the final moments of close games. It’s absolute excitement.
On a close loss or win you may break into tears, jump for joy, go silent — become depressed, sulk, it’s a rainbow of emotions that is hard to match.
If you’re a college fan — your home, wardrobe, front porch, vehicle and place of work may be decorated in a manner that there is absolutely no doubt the team you represent.
When you have a friend that is for the rival team, it just might put a strain on the relationship.
I personally like the passion sports invoke. And I’ve felt much of the emotion in Little League games, where parents can come unglued; high school championships where each player is your friend and comrade; the whole town coming behind a winning high school or college team; and in bigger cities different levels of professional sports that at times can take on a life of its own.
So, when you reach the point of checking out — do you really want to have your family just put you out to pasture with a nice tombstone? Throw your ashes to the wind out in the ocean? Or write an obit that people read, and then say, “Ah yes — such a good man or woman.” Heck no, you think, I want to go out with a bang.
Now this only works if you’re cremated, but I’d like to see someone start a business where you can have some of your ashes dropped at your favorite sports site.
Maybe you always wanted or dreamed of playing or attending each tennis Grand Slam, so you purchase four envelopes that go to each destination that are self-addressed with a small pouch where a pinch of your remains are placed. It’s sent and the groundskeeper drops you in a spot that is designated for such.
Now your kids and kin can say, “Yeah, dad is at the Australian Open, French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open, just like he always wanted to be.”
What a neat thing. I’d do that for $50 per spot and I think thousands of people would. Maybe that sounds a bit morbid, but not to me — I love the idea.
Hell’s bells, people spend more money than that to have a star named after them and that seems bogus when you compare it to saying your loved-one is at Wimbledon.
It’s would definitely work with a small ad in every sports publication; the hard part would be getting each site to sanction the idea, who the envelope would be mailed to and the percentage of money each site would receive.
Tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, you name the sport and someone (maybe millions) would die to have their ashes put there. Just remember, “You heard it first here.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.