After four years writing about sports, examining the ins and outs of everything with a ball or puck, I’ve commented on plenty of issues: sportsmanship, superstition and player safety are just a few that come to mind.

The one thing I’ve never delved into, and maybe the most important issue of all, is sport itself.

My biggest question is, why? Why have games that, logically, appear preposterous–a guy swings a stick at a ball to move other guys from square pad to square pad, or 22 people smash into each other to move an inflated pigskin 100 yards – become such an integral part of our society?

I think of rivalries I’ve grown up with: Giants-Dodgers, Niners-Seahawks, Warriors-Clippers (LOL @Clippers).

Why have sports become so universal that fans are born into a new era of prejudice, one based not on the color of a person’s skin but on the color of their jersey?

Perhaps sports give us a sense of unity that is missing from our modern lives.

In place of warring houses of medieval days, feuds are settled on a field or a court.

House pride, once a part of regular life, has all but disappeared in a literal sense, but perhaps is reborn in team fandom.The we’re-better-than-you mentality that fans bring to the ballpark/stadium/arena.

Sport also offers a social platform unlike any other. People who would never socialize at work, at school, at a bar, or anywhere else are able to come together under the logo of their team.

Friendships and love stories grow out of a shared love of the game.

For me, it’s a combination of a lot of things.

It’s my competitive desire manifesting itself in an allegiance to teams.

It’s a way for me to connect with friends and family, and also with the place I call home.

It’s a part of my identity, a way for me to show who I am and where I’m from.

I write because for these reasons, and for so many more, I love sports. For four years, my goal has been to instill that love in as many people as possible. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.