The Passion of the Game

I have always considered baseball to be one of the greatest sports on earth. For some baseball is just another sport. They often say it is boring and takes forever. But for the diehard, passionate fans like myself it is more than that. To me it is the sport that brings people together. It is a sport that can turn complete strangers, for nine innings, into life-long friends. As the season draws to a close, fans have their own opinions on their teams’ performance during the season in terms of strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement.

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There are times during the season however when rivalries stop and we all come together as a fan base to enjoy the game for what it is. One of these times is the Mid-Summer Classic, or All-Star game. For one week in July, we are not just fans of this team or that; we are fans of baseball. For one week it’s okay to cheer for that one player you may not cheer for in a regular season game because home-field advantage in the World Series is at stake.

However, every once in a while, something happens that is unexplainable. As a baseball fan I was shocked when I heard that Jose Fernandez had been killed. I, like so many other fans, was brought to tears. I wasn’t thinking about the Houston Astros chances of making the playoffs, everything stopped. To see a life cut short just when his career had started to takeoff was unimaginable and to have it happen so close to the end of the season made it ten times worse. There are several professional sports writers offering their perspectives on the impact of Jose Fernandez and if you would like to read more about it I would definitely check them out as well.

In my opinion, baseball and sports in general serves two purposes in our daily lives. One is for entertainment. We go to games for the experience, to cheer our team on to victory, to hear the crack of the bat, the umpire yell, “You’re out!”, to smell the aroma of hot dogs in the air. The other purpose, to escape for a couple of hours, the troubles and tribulations of our daily lives. We take a break from it all to relax, if only for a moment.

The memory of Jose Fernandez will live on in the hearts and minds of every baseball fan. As a friend of mine said, “I think the best way to honor Jose is to simply love the game…”. He truly was an amazing player with even more amazing talent and will be missed by all.






Beards and Baseball 

With this year’s National Football League (NFL) season still in its infancy, the feelings and emotions of postseason baseball are starting to take hold. As Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are eliminated from contention and the playoff picture becomes more and more clear, a familiar look among MLB players will begin to appear. Yes, I am speaking of the postseason beard. Starting at about this time during the season, you may see your favorite player or even your friend, who is usually clean shaven, growing some stubble.

And it’s not just players that get in on the beard-growing bonanza, fans also try their luck at growing a postseason beard. Not all beards are the same though, and different people yield different results. Beards can come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from chinstraps to goatees to full beards. In my case for example, my beard could be classified as a cross between a Van Dyke and Imperial style. Some postseason beards that players have grown have garnered so much attention that the beard itself has its own social media page(s). Either way you look at it, growing a beard for postseason play, in any sport, has become somewhat of a tradition in past years and more and more men have chosen to participate.

Photo by Carl Votti

Some MLB players like Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros have taken the idea of the postseason beard and turned it into a season-long ordeal. His beard could be classified as a Bandholz or what I would call a Mountain-Man style beard. Another example is Hunter Pence of the San Francisco Giants who has a beard similar to mine. In some cases, fans are so used to a certain player’s beard that when that player decides to shave it off, it’s as if they are an entirely different person.  Whether you like the idea of postseason beards or not, growing a beard can be a fun experience. One of the reasons I love the postseason is not only for the competitiveness of play, but for the different and unique styles of beards that appear every year. Some beards I have seen in the past have been quite interesting and have worked well, while others have looked rather strange.

Going forward, I believe that beards will always be associated with postseason play in sports as a way for both players and fans to join in on the excitement of making the playoffs.





img_0010Hello, and welcome to Carl’s Column! I am very excited to be starting this blog and sharing my perspective on a topic, of which I am very passionate about, with each and every one of you. I hope my readers find this blog entertaining and informative. This blog may also provide interesting information you may not find anywhere else. However, before I start blogging about my topic I would like to tell you a little bit about myself.

My name is Carl Votti and I am a student at Texas State University studying Digital Media. From as far back as I can remember, I have always had a love for sports, specifically that of baseball, football and hockey. Some of my favorite teams include, the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays; the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and the Dallas Stars. As I have gotten older and shared my perspective on these topics with friends, my love of sports has grown exponentially.

Over the past four years, I have had some experience with videography and broadcasting some sporting events. These opportunities have broadened my perspective on the sports world farther than I could even imagine. With this blog I hope to reach a majority of sports fans, both the casual and dedicated. Some may agree with me some may disagree and I expect that. Overall, I hope I can provide my readers with an interesting and positive experience in sharing my thoughts and views surrounding sports.

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