I had a good friend in high school who, when conversation turned to sports, would always chime in, "And this affects my life how?" Since he wasn't actually playing for the team, my excitement about my team had no justification. Of course, I thought he was wrong – then and now.
I also think, as the Brewers head to the playoffs, the Bucks begin their season and all of our other teams – Packers, Wave, Admirals, Marquette, etc. – drive to be great, sports matter more than we think.
In this day and age, where all politics are often divisive and media segmented, where cities and states are segregated and religions, while unifying within their communities, are not an all-for-one and one-for-all proposition, I'm in on sports.
At all levels, sports bring people together. Sure, you can not like a team, player, coach or call. But when a team wins, loses, plays hard or just entertains, a community takes note and the elevation of endorphins escalates for the greater good.
Sports matter. Especially in our state. Sports build partnerships, drive business and make us cheer, smile, laugh, cry and care.
On the youth level, I may not care about your kid's soccer game, but you do – and the lessons learned from sports transcend traditional teaching and lay ground work for all aspects of life.
People rally around their teams, jump on bandwagons, wear jerseys and high five strangers. This happens with winning, but also because teams have the resources to build fan bases, enhance the game day experience and build pipelines that fund projects and players while also helping the communities around them.
Sports help us build a sense of community, a sense of pride and a greater sense of place. And while other states and cities have them, Milwaukee (and Wisconsin as a whole) is truly blessed with amazing teams and organizations. So, when one of our teams reach the post season, put aside your daily worries and anxieties, and just enjoy it. Embrace the smiles that winning delivers.
Root, root, root for the home team! Now! And enjoy all that sports have to offer.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.