Posted by Abu Abdurahman | 2 Comments
Living far from home sometimes I’m taken back by questions from my son like “Abi what’s baseball?” Growing up sports played a major part of my life, and taught me many lessons that I carried with me to this day. I started out with soccer (football for those of you outside of the U.S.) when I was maybe 5 years old. I remember the cool autumn mornings and orange slices at half time. I had my run at baseball, but do to several bad accidents I developed a fear of a hard object flying at my face at 60 miles per hour. Being hit by the ball one too many times caused me to drop the sport altogether. When I reached the age of 10 I convinced my parents to let me pick up pop warner football (American football for those of you outside of the U.S.). I played football for 12 years up into my sophomore year of college when I was 22. Although I played other sports throughout high school from track & field to wrestling my main focus was American Football. The amount of lessons learned are too many to mention here, but they range from teamwork, loss, sportsmanship, how to deal with pain, sacrifice, how to be a leader, how to follow one, and much more.
For better or worse sports have become part of the fabric of society. Unfortunately some people take them too far allowing them to consume their lives, but in general team sports are fun physical activities that can be a source of many lessons and areas for character building. It’s important to me even if my children don’t grow up to be the next “Abdullah Brothers”, that they at least have a general understanding of the games which grip a society that they most likely will live in. Questions like “What is baseball?” just won’t fly whenever we go back home.
Although we’re a few thousand miles away from signing up for our local soccer league, I’d like to give my sons a bit of some cultural education so that they are keyed in before they arrive. The plan is to follow the four main sports in America throughout one calendar year. We’ll allow the boys to pick their teams, and we’ll follow their progress throughout the year. I’m going to cheat for them and give them the choice between teams that are more likely to do well in the following year, hopefully allowing them a chance to see their teams make the finals. We’re going to start with baseball. (Although the season has already started it’s a long one with over a hundred games so they won’t notice that much of a difference.) As we continue through the baseball season we’ll pick up American Football. We’re going to skip Hockey and Basketball as both leagues are in the finals right now, and we’ll pick them up at the beginning of their next seasons. In this way we’ll come full circle this time next year as we’ll be finishing up with both Hockey and Basketball championship games. Insha’Allah throughout the seasons we’ll be introducing them to the rules, along with giving equipment to try out the games themselves. Once we have them pick their teams we’ll post them up and occasionally give an update on their progress.