Warning: This Video May Make You Cry

By Elizabeth Beard | Posted on May 23, 2011

Miracle LeagueDespite the fact that they really were work related, I still felt a twinge of guilt about all of the online videos I watched while working on the May issue. Perhaps it’s a generational thing or maybe it’s just my bias as someone who still works primarily with printed words and still photos. I watched videos on cyclocross, and several videos on hardcourt bike polo (such as these – Madrid Bikepolo Open and 7th Midwest Bike Polo Championships). 

But the one video I kept putting off watching was the one that I knew in the end I really needed to see – the “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” segment on the Miracle League. This 2001 broadcast is largely credited with the league’s rapid expansion across the country and now even around the world. (BTW, how does a show as consistently excellent as “Real Sports” manage to stay on the air and why don’t I ever think to DVR it?) I don’t consider myself an overly sentimental person and tend to prevent myself from wallowing in self-imposed misery by avoiding at all costs the Lifetime channel, romance novels, and even random puppy cams on the Internet. But would I really need tissues just to watch a 10-year-old sports story online? 

Consider yourself warned: despite opening with a deliberately light and matter-of-fact tone, this video may make you cry in 30 seconds or less. I can’t even say exactly what about it makes me tear up since it really is a happy story and not a sad one. But I can say that it does point to two universal and ultimately intertwining aspects of the human condition – the desire to play and the need to feel accepted. And this is what parks and recreation are all about.

Elizabeth Beard is the Managing Editor for Parks & Recreation magazine.