Stillwater News Press

Sports Columns

July 14, 2014

Orange Prattle: Sports bring countries, families together

STILLWATER, Okla. — Nothing brings people together better than sports.

At times, sports are bigger than race, gender, religion – and always bigger than hate.

We saw it firsthand during this past month when most Americans – no matter the age, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. – rallied together under one banner as fans of the United States men's national soccer team during the World Cup in Brazil.

For one fleeting moment, when the U.S. squad fought its way through the “Group of Death”, Americans were banded together because of sports. Sports are family.

This past weekend was another reminder of how sports bring people together with the U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National.

But golf is one of those unique sports that perhaps binds humans together more than other sports. Golf is a father and son playing a round on Father's Day, or a daughter learning to play daddy's game, or a wife sacrificing a day of freedom from the kids to spend it playing a sport with her husband.

At the professional level, you get to see a son caddie for his father – as was the case this weekend for Stillwater resident Bill Glasson, who said his son, Max, is always his first choice on the bag if he wants it.

It's a sport that elite athletes from other sports claim to take up – look no further than former Oklahoma State greats Brandon Weeden and Desmond Mason, who took part in the Junior Day event prior to the Senior Open.

I had the unique opportunity, while I was working the event all week, to have my father – an avid golfer – to join me at the tournament. I'm a third-generation sports writer – taking after my father and his father before him – and in the 10 years since graduating high school, this was the first time my father got to witness firsthand how the third Elmquist is faring in the business.

He has been to other sporting events that I happen to be covering – such as an OSU men's basketball game at Gallagher-Iba Arena – but those sports restricted him to a chair in the rafters, while golf allows fans closer to the action.

My father had the time of his life getting to watch past legends that were in their prime before the doldrums of parenthood came along. And me, I got the chance of a lifetime – to cover a major event for a sport I love, and watch a man I love feel like a kid again.

No matter where you looked this weekend, or who you talked to, there were families – sometimes even three generations deep – sharing in the moment of this major event. Sports, especially golf, bring together family, friends, strangers.

Jason Elmquist is sports editor of The Stillwater News Press. He can be contacted at jelmquist@stwnewspress.com.

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