Traffic, shrewy wives, inept bosses, the misbegotten war, these are many of the frustrations that we are confronted with on a daily basis. This is why we love our sports. It's black and white. One team wins (hopefully ours!) and one team loses. Instead of kicking the dog when you get home you escape your troubles by enjoying your favorite team . Escapism at it's best, you can yell, cheer, scream, cry, curse, and live and die by your favorite teams success or failure. Sports can help a region forget about their troubles for a while, bringing the community together regardless of their other differences. In our area (Michigan) the economy is slumping and the housing market is horrid, but the Pistons and the Red Wings were our daily dose of optimism. Sure, they bowed out, but it was one helluva ride. And it's free! Way back when all you needed was a transistor radio and a nine volt battery and you were in business. It's still a relative bargain, but if you would have told us back in the seventies that we would pay for our TV signal, you would been ridiculed like Bill Veeck. Sports is full of personalities that you can feel free to love or hate with no repercussions (unless you're a rowdy soccer fan). Opinions abound (Hell, I could have stopped LeBron on at least one of those drives!) and usually there are no consequences for them. Where else but in a sports argument can both parties walk away firm in the belief that they won the debate. Your wife just lets you THINK you won. Have you ever gotten together with a friend that is sports savvy (although NOBODY knows as much about sports as you do!) and try to one-up him with obscure team members from past local teams? Hey, remember Herb Orvis? They always trigger good memories because no matter how gut-wrenching it was watching them get there, you only remember the positives. Yeah, Dennis Rodman turned out to be a real whack job, but he will always be fondly remembered here as the big eared, hard working, rebounder that helped our Pistons to their first- ever title. Some things eventually become more important, like the wonder of watching your firstborn, but nothing beats rooting for your favorite team. Marriage? What guy in their right mind WANTS to get married? But watching Stevie Yzerman hold that Cup over his head after 40 years of frustration, now that's enough to make a grown man cry. And I'm not a goddam bit ashamed of it, either. And THAT my friends is why sports rock.