Trietley: It’s time to get back together with sports

By Greg Trietley

Hey, sports. It’s been a while.

Back in April, I told you that I needed a break. That I was… Hey, sports. It’s been a while.

Back in April, I told you that I needed a break. That I was going on vacation. My cell phone would be off. The Internet, I assumed, would be in a foreign language. I logged on once, and it was talking about “Bundesliga” and “soccer.”

I see you’re doing well. Even the Pirates had a winning record there for a while.

The dark cloud that loomed over us for so long, the NFL lockout, is clearing up before it did any damage. We might lose the Hall of Fame Game, but that was never an important part of our relationship, anyway.

And the NBA, well, if you want to toss that league out of the apartment, I can handle it.

I thought some time apart would do us good. I believed that our misunderstandings would resolve themselves over time, fading into the abyss like so many news headlines do. But here I am at your box office window, and Michael Haywood still lingers.

Thankfully, you still have your health. Sidney Crosby is skating again, so that should pump some life into the Consol Energy Center this fall.

I also heard that you’ve made some new friends. Running back Zach Brown transferred to Pitt football from Wisconsin and linebacker Ejuan Price transferred from Ohio State. It seems like you’ve had no trouble moving on.

In the months without you, I’ve tried to fill the void. I read books, watched movies and lost the occasional board game. Anything to keep me away from sports. I even tried to attend a NASCAR race, but I got stuck in traffic.

I will admit that your kittenish cousin, arena football, and I spent a pleasant, very loud evening together. She gave me thundersticks, and I was thankful. I even saw a last-second game-winning touchdown by the Power. The advertisements don’t lie: It really is “twice the excitement.” But it wasn’t the same as you.

I made attempts to move on, to forget the past and look to the future, but I botched them all. At the end of the day, I have the same personal problems I had yesterday, and you’re going to continue to live the way you want to live and continue to do the things that you want to do. LeBron James taught me that.

I’ve tried not being such a Canuck about it, but I care about you like Cavaliers fans care about the Mavericks.

How can I not root for you? The Japanese women’s soccer team, historically unexceptional, emerged from its country’s worst natural disaster to win the Women’s World Cup. Whoever wrote Cinderella saw that and went, “Wow, that’s good.”

I’ll cut to the chase. Sports, I missed you. Let’s get back together.

It’ll be just like old times. I see Ashton Gibbs returned to Pitt basketball for his senior year. If I had to guess, I’d say the program will once again hang its hat on solid defense and tenacious rebounding. I know you too well.

Maybe the Panthers will do well next March. That’s what I like about you, sports: You always know when to spice things up with a dash of the unexpected. If the Pirates are the herald of a new era, we’re looking at a DePaul Big East Championship next spring.

Pitt football under Todd Graham will be nothing if not exciting. You told me that in January when things got tough.

No matter what happens — I’m willing to guess heartbreak, but isn’t that how it always ends? — I’ll be around. You and I aren’t perfect, but I can live with that. We’ll be together again.

Welcome back, sports.