BY NAWEED SIKORA - BLOWIN' SMOKE
Published April 19, 2004
If there’s one thing I learned in
college, it’s that this world will never be perfect.
I have been enlightened over these past four years about the
injustices that have occurred — and continue to occur —
in the world, and even at this University. Sometimes it’s
very difficult to swallow.
But I feel as if I am leaving Ann Arbor a better, more
knowledgeable person for having learned about these injustices, and
I am grateful for that.
Now it’s my turn to help the students on this campus who
feel the problems in their lives are too immense. The place I am
going to tell you about is no secret. In fact, I’m sure
everyone has been there at some point. But without it, I
wouldn’t have made it this far and been able to still have
this big smile on my face.
It’s a wonderful place, even though it can be painful at
times. In this place there are only games. Losing is the worst
possible thing that can happen, but as I’m sure you would
agree, this pales in comparison to the problems of real life.
I go here when I need to escape from reality. I call this haven
As a lifelong visitor of Sportura, I belong to a group of people
who see sports as more than just a contest with a winner and a
loser. We see sports as a means of coping with the burdens of real
life. To us, sports don’t represent reality; they represent
When I sit down to watch two teams play, I step out of our real
world and into Sportura.
The beauty of sports is that the outcomes here don’t
affect real life as a fan, but you can derive real-life pleasure
from those very same outcomes. That’s what makes this place
Think about what it’s like to step into Sportura. When I
sit down to watch a Michigan football game, I leave Earth.
As I watch the game in this alternate universe, I experience
real-life emotions such as elation and despair.
For those three magnificent hours of Michigan football, whatever
real-life problems I left behind when I entered Sportura were gone.
My only concern was whether or not Michigan was going to win.
When the game ends and I return from Sportura, I’m still
the same person with the same problems, but for the past three
hours, I was in a different, carefree place.
Now I know some of you out there might contest this next point.
But, in my opinion, when your worst fear is whether or not your
team is going to win, you’re in pretty good shape.
That’s what it’s like in Sportura. Real life
problems are transformed into just winning and losing. The only
downside about Sportura is that eventually you have to leave it.
But whenever the pressure starts getting to you again, you can
always go back.
I have invested my time into watching and writing about Michigan
sports for the past four years, and I have to say, it’s the
best thing I could have done for myself. When the reality of life
on campus had me down, I knew exactly where to turn. I knew that
for those few hours when I was watching a sporting event, I
didn’t have to worry about school and my problems, and it
For those of you who have time left at Michigan, take some
advice from someone who is about to leave: Don’t ignore the
serious problems at this University, because there are many, but if
you are feeling overwhelmed and need an escape, Sportura will
always be there for you, just like it will for me.
I would like to say farewell to all my friends and fellow
Sportura lovers. I know this world will never be perfect, but I
truly hope that we can change it for the better, so that maybe in
the future, the petty problems of “sportura” can be our
worst problems in reality.
Naweed Sikora would like to thank his parents for reading
every story he ever wrote — from his first men’s golf
article to this column — and for always supporting him. And
he’s sorry he spends so much time in Sportura, but he loves
it there. He can be reached at "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com