What is your sports resolution for 2013?
To sit on the sidelines no more
By Michelle Smith
In 2013, I will go from being an observer to a participant again.
Instead of listening to my sister's stories about playing on her coed slow-pitch softball team, I will look for a team of my own and not let my irrational fear of running the bases get in my way.
Instead of watching local baseball on television from the comfort of the couch, I will get tickets and sit next to my son. And teach him how to keep score.
Instead of saying, “Gee, that yoga class looks interesting,” I will sign up and take the class.
Being a professional watcher of athletic endeavor tends to separate you from the game after a lot of years. It's time to get back in it.
To enjoy more of the same in 2013
By Graham Hayes
I resolve not to resolve anything, which, in keeping with the long tradition of New Year’s resolutions, allows me to break mine before even finishing this sentence. I could resolve to battle the time zones in an effort to be a more attentive Mariners fan. I could resolve to resist clicking on any stories anywhere that have anything to do with the New York Jets, lest those clicks feed the beast. I would love to resolve to erase the memory of repeated in-arena exposure to “Gangnam Style” -- but a similar resolution from a couple of years ago pertaining to “Party in the USA” still remains unfulfilled. But as many resolutions as I need to make when it comes to the world beyond sports, I’m pretty comfortable with 2013 proceeding in much the same manner as 2012 when it comes to sports.
If I can see more games like North Carolina and BYU in an NCAA soccer quarterfinal, Connecticut and Notre Dame in a Four Four basketball thriller or the United States and Canada in an Olympic soccer epic, that’s fine by me (granted, the Olympic part of that may be a problem in 2013). If I can see more players like Alabama softball star Jackie Traina, former Green Bay basketball player Julie Wojta or USA Softball standout Sam Fischer come into their own, that works for me. If I can learn about more people like Florida State soccer player Carson Pickett or Louisville softball player Taner Fowler, combining athletic excellence with dignity and personality in the face of challenges, I’ll be lucky.
When it comes to sports, I resolve to keep being grateful for the ride.
To lap up more women’s college basketball
By Sarah Spain
I'm not big on resolutions, as I usually set myself up to fail every year. "Run five miles a day!" "Stop drinking Diet Coke!" "Stop swearing!" By Day 6 I'm swearing at my alarm, refusing to get up to go running, only to wake up an hour later to a balanced breakfast of eggs and a 16-ounce Diet Coke.
I'll try to keep this year's vow a bit more realistic. In 2013, I resolve to watch more women's college basketball. I won't wait until March Madness to really get into it -- there's just too much talent there to ignore. And maybe if I'm really good, I'll watch it while running those five miles on the treadmill. Maybe.
To help my dog shape up
By Jane McManus
My New Year's resolution is not to lose the five pounds I gained while covering the NFL this season, because I refuse to be a stereotype. I hate the idea of being the woman who looks at herself in the mirror and sighs, so I don't do that to myself. Now that the Jets, who I usually cover, are done for the season, I'm going to swap the hour it normally takes me to drive to the team's practice facility in New Jersey with long runs with my dog in the woods near our home. Instead of late Frito-filled work days, I'm going to cook and hit roller derby practice as I start to train for our 2013 season.
Then, when my pants start to fit better, I may step on a scale at some point. But I refuse to feel bad about it at any step along the way, or hold myself to some skeletal standard. I'll know I've reached my goal when I can get through a two-hour derby practice without feeling too gassed.
In the meantime, I resolve to get my dog in better shape.
To become emotionally invested in the EPL
By Kate Fagan
I want to choose a team to root for in the English Premier League, and make it a point to watch more of the matches.
In 2006, I fell in love with the World Cup, watching every minute of the coverage from Germany. In 2010, I covered the World Cup in South Africa. And this past summer I attended the Euros in Poland and, a few months later, watched Fulham play Everton at Craven Cottage in London. I love watching soccer. And when it comes to international events, I have a clear rooting interest: the United States. (And also Ireland, when it hasn't been robbed of a World Cup bid.)
Right now, I occasionally tune into an early morning match being played in the EPL, but it's not the same as those other competitions, or watching the NFL, because there is no emotion involved. So in this coming year, I want to do my research to discover which EPL team I should root for. I don't think I want to jump on board with Arsenal, Manchester United or Chelsea -- those clubs have plenty of international fans. No, I need to find a team, an underdog, but one that still has a chance to compete at the highest level.
To recapture the fun in games
By Melissa Isaacson
Something unavoidable happens when you become a sportswriter. Mostly, it’s just a natural result of getting closer to the teams and athletes you once rooted for, of peeling back a few layers.
Over the years, fans have become that much savvier and can see behind the curtain for themselves. But I still sometimes envy the ability to simply enjoy a sporting event on its own merit. Kids help in that regard. Tough to sit in a room with a cheering 14-year-old and not join in.
So that’s it. Pretty simple. In 2013, try to recapture some of the joy of being a spectator. Or maybe just watch more games with teenagers.