One of the reasons former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is so respected by commonsense conservatives is because of her realness. It’s not just her populist approach to campaigning and the way she talks to Americans but it’s also because of the way she conducts herself away from the political arena. People respond to her because they relate to her. Palin is like us.
While Palin has done extraordinary things in her life, it’s her ability to simultaneously be ordinary that translates to so many. Just like everyday Americans, Palin has the same likes and interests. Sports is right near the top of that list.
Palin often references athletes and sporting events. She grew up in a house that took full advantage of everything sports has to offer. Her father was a track coach, her brother an accomplished football player, and Palin herself a state championship basketball player. Palin’s been endorsed by the likes of Mike Ditka and she’s currently endorsing Clint Didier’s run for Congress. Palin understands that values and lessons learned from team sports are invaluable.
This week on social media Palin posted some great news about her youngest daughter Piper and her love of hoops that clearly runs in the family. Palin wrote on Facebook:
What an opportunity! Piper and her basketball team are traveling to Oregon for a girl’s hoops tour. This is so good for expanding the student-athletes’ worldview. I’ll bet it makes the girls open their eyes to the world beyond their own hometown; it will surely allow a greater appreciation for “home” and the security only home can provide, and the cursory “advantages” of being Outside. Telling, the only picture Piper’s sent so far is from a Jack in the Box counter, thinking it so unique because we don’t have one here up North. (I’m sure she’ll find inspiration in venues beyond Jack in the Box on this trip!) They WILL see evidence though of America’s beauty everywhere we look.
Amen! Palin understands that sports are not just about winning and losing or how many baskets you drain, but so much more. While she’s rooting for her daughter to do well on the court she is also encouraging her to take full advantage of the traveling aspect and all that goes with it.
Piper’s amazement over Jack in the Box hits home. I remember the first time I found a Chick-fil-A and a Sonic. We didn’t have those in the suburbs of New York City. Visiting establishments that are not available in your city always makes for a good time. But, playing and even following sports can offer so much more as well.
Along with the obvious lifelong teachings of teamwork and sacrifice, one can also brush up on history and geography through sports. As a child, I certainly learned of places like Orchard Park, Auburn Hills, and Landover through the teams that played there. It made me ask questions. It made me want to find those places on a map. When I heard about Tris Speaker and Red Grange I wanted to know what else was going on in the country when they were stars. Instant history lessons.
Playing on traveling teams like Piper Palin is doing can be even more eye-opening. Getting a chance to visit cities and states you’ve never been before is a big deal for a kid. You learn about things hands-on, all while enjoying the company of your teammates and the fun of the sport you love. Young people also pick up an instant appreciation for things they leave behind like family and the comfort of your own bed. Sports can provide all of this.
So good luck to Piper Palin on and off the court as she heads to the Beaver State. And who knows, maybe if she plays some stellar defense she will pick up a nickname along the way just like her mom had in her playing days. They called Palin “Sarah Barracuda” for her stifling ‘D’. Look out Oregon, her comes “Piper Piranha” and her Alaskan cagers.