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April 3, 2015
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Sports Column: “What’s your favorite sport?”

I never know how to answer the question, “What is your favorite sport?” My usual answer is “whatever sport I am currently playing,” but my favorite sport to play might be different from my favorite sport to watch. Some sports I enjoy watching on television rather than in person. Too many variables exist to deem just one sport my “favorite” because each is uniquely special.

My first instinct would be to say my favorite sport is soccer. Soccer was my first passion. I played for a recreational team in my town for several years. I then played all the way through my middle school and high school years, making it to the North Carolina championship game my senior year.

But I enjoyed watching soccer as well as playing it. I have followed the United States Men’s National Team for almost a decade, and my favorite sports memory was watching Landon Donovan score the game-winning goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup.

Even though I love soccer, I am also passionate about basketball. Basketball requires attention to detail, value of each possession and emphasis on teamwork, making it fascinating to watch or coach.

While playing is exciting, I actually enjoy watching it more than playing. College basketball boasts the best tournament in sports and is never dull, especially in March. Because I am originally from West Virginia, my favorite team has always been WVU. I will never forget the Mountaineers’ upset victory over No. 1 ranked Kentucky in the 2010 NCAA Tournament (WVU was far from repeating that magic this year).

Although soccer and basketball are thrilling, football is also irreplaceable. Even though I now follow the New York Jets in the NFL, I grew up watching WVU play college football every Saturday. I inherited the passion for Mountaineer football from my grandfather, and it has never left. The atmosphere of an electric college stadium on Saturdays in the fall cannot be accurately translated through the television, making football one of the best sporting events to attend in person.

Finally, the last sport that I have an intense passion for is baseball. I follow baseball more than any other sport. While some lament the idea of such a long season, I relish tuning in to a Cincinnati Reds game each evening. Those same critics find each game dull and boring, but I find it the opposite. Nothing can quite replace the experience of a ballpark humming with excitement on a warm July night. The crack of the bat, dirt stains and long home runs are never, ever dull to me.

How can I pick just one sport to be my favorite? A goal in soccer creates more excitement than any other play. Basketball has the best tournament in sports. Football’s game day excitement cannot be replicated. And baseball requires attention to each pitch. Each sport provides unique entertainment and picking just one is impossible. So please, never ask me what my favorite sport is, or I just might go on a tirade explaining why I love each sport individually and equally.