My Relationship With Sports

Sports have been a longstanding passion of mine. I think my parents thought that I’d eventually outgrow it, but it never happened. As a matter of fact, overtime the passion grew into a full-blown obsession. I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast half the time, but I can remember stats from a 1995 Arkansas Razorback football team that went 8-5.

It seems like just yesterday that I’d sit like a stone in front of the family television set to watch the home run race between McGwire and Sosa. My life revolved around Pippen and Jordan. Malone and Stockton. Aikman and Emmitt. Houston Nutt and Nolan Richardson. These figures gave a kid from Arkansas more than mere entertainment, they gave me hope.

As I hit my teenage years, I discovered punk rock, which eventually gave way to metal and hardcore music. I ditched my christian rap cd’s for The Deal and No Innocent Victim cd’s. My parents didn’t know what to think. What a time to be alive.

As I rapidly approach my 30’s, the hope that sports gave me as a kid has been perfectly intertwined within my music career. My entire life I’ve watched teams lose the toughest of games, only to get back up and try again. Many times they repeatedly fail, but they continue to work because of hope. They’re chasing the small taste of victory they’ve previously had at one time or another, and it keeps them going. Failure can either make you tired, or it can make you hungry. It tends to make the athlete hungry, but the musician tired.

As much as I’ve learned from sports, I’ve also learned this lesson in the music industry: If you stick around long enough, you’ve got a shot. Like I said above, musicians tend to tire out. They have big dreams, fail a bunch of times, and then they fall in love. Game, set, match.

When I begin to lose hope, I sometimes think about the UCF Knights under head coach Scott Frost. They went from an abysmal 0-12 record the year before Frost arrived, and last year they finished 13-0. In only 2 years they went from winless to undefeated. Hope is dangerous, but it’s essential to your survival as a musician. I’m eternally grateful for the lessons sports continue to teach me.  

- Justin