Archive for July 15th, 2006

Sports Wall

July 15, 2006

The picture today is of my youngest daughter in front of my sports wall in my office.

My sports wall has turned out to be a bit more interesting to me than I even intended originally. About a year ago now, I traveled to the Little Rock area for a wedding, and on that trip, I was lucky enough to have arranged a private showing of a breathtaking sports collection at an individual’s house. And it inspired me.

There were amazing things scattered all over this 2,000 square-foot plus basement – a wall full of hall-of-famer’s autographed pictures, every Sports Illustrated magazine ever published, an autographed Ted Williams jersey, the original Sport Magazine autographed by its cover feature Joe Dimaggio, an autographed Shaq Lakers’ jersey was on the floor, and an autographed Bear Bryant hat was sitting under some things. Plus 1000s and 1000s of more fascinating things.

But there were also lots of things that weren’t that impressive to the typical sports fan, things that only the collector found to be treasures. Things like his college cross country awards and his high school basketball jersey. I read an article about his collection, and I was fascinated to learn that he didn’t have his collection insured, his reasoning being that he wasn’t doing this for money, and if something happened to it, it was irreplaceable with money. Got me to thinking.

When I came back to Ocean Springs in late July 2005, I thought I would start my own sports wall in my office. I went through every closet and drawer and box and found every little item of sports memorabilia I had accumulated and took them to my office. I made my sports wall about a week or two before Hurricane Katrina came and destroyed our home, the place in which most of this stuff had been sitting just a few weeks prior.

It is sort of ironic. If I had been able to choose between my wedding album and sports posters, I would have taken the wedding album; and if I could have chosen between the video of our daughter’s birth and my old ticket stubs, it’s the video without hesitation. But the fact that something was saved that should not have been saved makes it a bit more special anyway.

It is, in fact, a strange illustration of grace.