• Sports

    Andy Rautins …This Is Why We Watch Sports

    The chant started in the fourth quarter of the Knicks-Jazz game the other night, as I sat watching the Knicks pulverize their opponents from my "best seat ever", close to the action. At first, I couldn't make out what the crowd was chanting, but after a few moments it became clear. The crowd was chanting "And-y Rau-tins".

    The former Syracuse star has had a bit of a tough time in the NBA. The rookie has only appeared in 5 games for the Knicks since being drafted, and his last appearance took place over a month ago, on Feb 2nd.

    Since being drafted, his only claim to fame has been an appearance in a youtube video, lip-synching "We are the NY Knicks" with teammate Landry Fields. But in the game against the Jazz, as the sub team was put in by coach D'Antoni in the 4th quarter, the crowd wanted the kid in there, to show what he could do. Everyone loves an underdog. There's always that last guy on the bench that everyone wants to see get a chance, and Andy is that guy.

    The chant was deafening. It seemed like 50% of the crowd was chanting his name, and I joined in. I wanted the 3 point specialist to sink one, to show what he can do.

    Moments later, the crowd roared. Andy had gotten up and was ready to check into the game. I felt like I related to the kid for some strange reason. I was more excited at that moment than any other moment in the game.

    Why did I feel so emotionally invested in seeing a rookie get into the game?

    I think now, as I look back on that moment, I felt as if it were me out there checking into the game. I related to the kid at that moment, wanting to achieve something that was difficult…getting a chance to do what you dream of. I felt that if Andy gets into the game, then I can get into the game …whatever my game is.

    I realize that this is why we watch sports. To live vicariously through our heroes. To connect with them and experience their ups and downs, and learn lessons for ourselves and our lives.

    When I watched my football New York Giants defeat the unbeatable Patriots in the Super Bowl, I felt that if the Giants could do the impossible, I could do something impossible too. It inspired me. And the moment of watching Andy Rautins check into the game inspired me as well.

    This seemingly insignificant event may mean little to anyone outside Andy or his family and friends, but in the moment, the mind does not make logic of emotion. It just reacts.
    And so, for that moment, I was Andy Rautins.
    I felt frustration as he threw a wayward pass out of nervousness and rustiness.
    I felt confidence at what I imagined he was telling himself…
    "Calm down, you've done this before, a million times for the Orangemen in clutch situations. You're a pro now, a draftee for the NY Knicks….DO IT!"
    And I felt joy and redemption as he hit the shot the crowd clamored for.
     "I can do this, I BELONG here!"

    And for a few minutes in my life, as I sat close to the action, heard the cheers, saw his face and felt all those emotions, I could say that I honestly felt like a player in the NBA. Even if it was in my imagination.

    Thanks Andy.


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    What’s the Best Sports Recovery Drink?


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    You’ve just finished a tough workout and it’s time to let your muscles – and your body recover. If you worked hard, you burned through your muscle glycogen stores, broke down fat and even some muscle if you exercised for a prolonged period of time. Not only that – you also lost critical electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, and potassium. To recover, some people reach for a sports drink to replenish those all important carbs, protein, and electrolytes. But are these expensive drinks the best choice when it comes to a sports recovery drink? You may be surprised at the answer.

    After working out, hold off on the fancy sports drinks and reach for a glass of chocolate milk instead. A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism showed that chocolate milk was as effective as sports recovery drinks like Gatorade for replenishing fuel stores and replacing electrolytes after exercise. They tested this on cyclists by giving them either a sports recovery drink, Gatorade, or low-fat chocolate milk after they had cycled for four hours. When they did a second round of cycling, the group that drank the low-fat chocolate milk was able to bike fifty percent longer than those who drank the sports recovery drink – and about the same amount of time as those who drank Gatorade.

    There are lots of advantages to using low-fat chocolate milk as an exercise recovery drink. Not only does it have a carbohydrate-protein ratio that rivals that of sports recovery drinks, but it’s also a good source of calcium that many people don’t get enough of. Chocolate is also a good source of flavonoids – natural antioxidant compounds that help repair the free radical damage that occurs with high intensity or prolonged exercise. On top of that, it also contains vitamin D – which up to seventy-five percent of Americans are deficient in. Chocolate milk is also much less expensive than most sports recovery drinks which is a big help if you’re on a budget.

    The only real drawback to using low-fat chocolate milk as an exercise recovery drink is the lactose it contains. Many people have problems digesting the lactose found in milk. When lactose isn’t broken down properly, intestinal bacteria have a field day with it which causes bloating, cramping, and diarrhea – symptoms most people can live without. If you have problems digesting lactose, look for lactose free chocolate milk which is now available at many grocery stores.

    The bottom line? Skip the expensive sports recovery drinks and sip on low-fat chocolate milk after you exercise. It tastes good – and it’s even better for you after a tough workout.


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