Books Makes Sports Come Alive for Non-Athletes | Teen Ink

Books Makes Sports Come Alive for Non-Athletes

January 4, 2011
By StarlingChild PLATINUM, El Cajon, California
StarlingChild PLATINUM, El Cajon, California
23 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

There’s nothing a sports fan likes better than sitting in the stadium at an exciting game, eating hot dogs, cheering on their team, and booing at the opposite team. Can anyone imagine sports without the television, radio, or some other source? Well, there’s always books.
Even for a person who dislikes sports, or doesn’t understand the trill of athletic competition, sometimes their opinion is entirely different when immersed in the pages of a novel describing a scene involving a game. One famous example are the Qudditch scenes in the Harry Potter series.
Perhaps it is difficult to imagine for those who enjoy sports, that some people prefer the kind of sport that doesn’t exist. Or maybe, it is perfectly logical for others. After all, for those who have read the Harry Potter books, who doesn’t enjoy the exhilarating descriptions of Harry and the rest of the Gryffindor team up against Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin?
As the pages fly past while reading, I can feel my heart pumping loudly as the game goes on, no matter how many times I’ve read the books. No other sport has that kind of danger, including the risk of being hit by a buldger, or falling off your broomstick hundreds of feet in the air. But then again, no other sport involves anything magical at all. Where’s the fun in that? I am no fan of sports, and yet being on a Quidditch team would be an incredible experience as you fly through the air. Alas, we are all Muggles, and can only read about the magical sport.
But, it’s not just the thrill of magical sports that appeal to the readers. The way J. K. Rowling describes each game in Harry’s point of view, we fans can get the chance to empathize the pressure it is to be on a competitive team, especially in Harry’s position, the Seeker. The imagery of flying buldgers, flittering Snitches, racing wizards on brooms, and the dirty plays on both sides is enough to have the reader want to scream and cheer as the audiences do. For those of you who could care less about live sports events, pick up a Harry Potter book, flip to the chapters where a Quidditch event takes place, and submerge yourself in a sport just as exciting – for some – as for others. There, you can enjoy “watching” a game as if it were happening right before your very eyes.
Then, there are other novels that describe a thrilling sport, but it is not always a team sport. For instance, the heart-stopping horse races in Enid Bagnold’s classic children’s book, National Velvet gives the reader a longing to cheer on Velvet and her horse, the Piebald, as they race to victory at the Grand National. Anyone who likes horses, reading, and excitement would adore reading the novel as the main theme is winning the National, the greatest horse race in the world.
Another powerful example would be the boxing competitions described vividly in Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One. Anyone who has read that novel would agree with me that the graphic depictions of Peekay’s breathtaking games against enormous opponent, was enough to make your heart pound in your veins as you read on. As a sophomore, this book captivated my attention, despite my delicacy toward boxing or any other violent individual or team sport. Because I could never watching a boxing match in reality, the novel is a safer – and in some ways, more thrilling – way to “watch” a sporting event.
So, whether a fantastical, real, or childlike sport, these athletic events that are described in novels, especially when it is an important part in the story, can sometimes be even more wondrous and terrifying than watched on live TV or in the stands of the stadium.
At least, it’s that way for some, and not for others.

The author's comments:
This was actually a sports column I wrote for my school newspaper as a junior in high school.

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