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  • Writer's pictureTopher Enneking

Team Is Just Another Word For Community! ENTER OUR COMMUNITY GIVEAWAY

Growing up in a world of team sports, finding people to collaborate with is as necessary as breathing. Being able to find people that share your mission is where real progress and real problem solving begin. That’s why our team at STATSdraft is so happy to have found Chubstr. I’ve often reflected on why I gravitated so much to football. The explanation was always that I could see myself in the game. Unlike other sports, where all the players tend to need the same skills and body types, football is a game of necessary diversity. Even though we had been sorted for our differences, there was something about togetherness as a team that is still, perhaps the greatest example of community I’ve had in my life. And that’s the kind of community being created by Chubstr. One of diverse bodies and beings actively engaging life and community.

Finding community can be difficult. So often in our society we’re told that we need to be individuals to succeed. That’s why it is so important to hold space for the other stories, stories of caring and community, stories like you will find on Chubstr. Being able to see yourself within a community is a fundamental human need and communities like Chubstr are helping reveal those who’ve traditionally struggled to see themselves in community. They are helping provide the campfire effect that draws people in, turns them towards each other, and warms them. 

For me sports was that campfire, though I had a complicated relationship with the fire. I was recently asked if sports help me be a better father. If I’m being honest, I think that my personal experience has made it harder for me to be the best father I can be. Although sport was a world of fairness where I could earn respect in a way that I couldn’t otherwise, Sport was also a world in which I had to bend the knee. The sport in which an arbitrary authority controlled my ability to develop my relationship of love. 

There are times when I catch myself as a father, angry and critical. Those moments sometimes feel like a fugue state. Afterwards my stomach churns and I try to come to terms with the experience I just had. Frankly, I think that as a grown-up, I’m finally starting to assert myself in a way I should have as a child; living out some moment from my past, where I wasn’t being heard. so I guess in my very specific experience, sports has given me the opportunity to reflect on this. I’ve had the opportunity to see how I was treated, and to see how my children view me as I view that coach. Sports have given me a crystallized metric by which I may look at how authority has deemed me unworthy and how incorrect they were. It has shown me that even the people that others might hold most authority might misjudge me, and how I should never accept anyone’s authority over the authority that I feel from our creator.

I’ve been watching a lot more sports and sports movies lately. I just watched the scene in Invincible where Mark Wahlberg's character gets knocked to the ground and he gets applause during a practice for getting beat. I was struck by the acknowledgment that that suffering and sacrifice mattered to the team. That, even though it was doomed to fail from the start, the mere effort mattered. That is community. 

One of my favorite voices in sports is Dominique Foxworth, and he says that football is the most militaristic of the sports, one in which it necessitates “biting the bullet.” Perhaps it’s because of the necessary coordination, the small moments of time in space that you have to affect change, or maybe it’s because of the gridiron and the culture that football arose from. Whatever it is, there has always been value in the struggle. How much your teammates need you to fight fight fight even though you know you will be beat. Sometimes we’re giving them enough time to come and give us reinforcements, sometimes we are helping them be a strategic retreat. Or whatever it is, we know that we are a part of our brother's journey. We know that every atom of effort we exert will allow our teammate to thrive.

And that’s why we’ve teamed up with our friends at Chubstr, FatGirlFlow, and One Bone, to help our teammates thrive. Because every body that moves and games needs the perfect t-shirt to play in, One Bone is offering a free tee to everyone who downloads STATSdraft (code posted in the app's home page) and pays shipping. We are also sponsoring a giveaway where everyone who likes this post and follows all 4 of us is entered into a drawing for a $500 One Bone gift card. We look forward to using this opportunity to connect to these new communities. We are hopeful that we can learn from them how they have been holding space for community and collaborate on making the world of sports and sports gaming more inclusive and inviting.

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