Sports are much more than winning and losing. We often learn teamwork the first time we play or watch a sport. We learn more about ourselves—our strengths and weaknesses. Bonds are formed with others, and those bonds often last through the years.
These are the stories we are including in our exhibit Ohio–Champion of Sports and the reason we divided the exhibit into the six zones of Victory, Adversity, Character, Identity, Tradition and Innovation. We recorded the sports stories directly with the people connected to them as much as possible; allowing us to get their unique views on sports and what they mean in their own lives and to their community. In the “Voices of…” kiosks which will be in each of the exhibit zones, you will see and hear pieces of these stories, today I am sharing a clip of one of these recordings with you.
On a cold day last November, Cameron Wood and I, along with Tom Chema, a member of our Board of Trustees, headed to Cincinnati to spend time with Mike Brown, longtime owner of the Bengals and son of legendary football coach, Paul Brown. Now in his early 80s, Mike talked with us for over two hours, sharing story after story about growing up with football, his commitment to the team, his love for Cincinnati and devotion to the game.
Mike was in no way the rough and gruff man that the media sometimes portrays him to be. He was soft spoken and thoughtful and had his own opinions. It was clear that football runs deep in his blood and that he is proud of his family, team and city.
As was the case in many of our interviews, his words touched on all six of the zones we have developed for the exhibit. Mike spoke about wanting the team to win more and what it was like when they didn’t have a good year. He spoke about the traditions football has brought to his family and the community. Mike shared how football shaped not only his identity, but the identity of his father and now his children. These are the kinds of videos you will see when you visit our Ohio–Champion of Sports exhibit.
One of the pieces of his interview that struck me most was when he talked about how the game of football builds character. Watch the clip below to hear his story.
Teamwork, responsibility, handling success and failure and forming an identity—these are the skills that are needed to be a successful adult. And are the skills that sports can develop in people, young and old, and the stories we are excited to share across this exhibit.