Bad choices – Sports as an escape

By Joel Hansen

I have made some bad choices in life. I assume everyone has. Now if you are reading this, then odds are that you are here in PV either on vacation or full time so we both got that one right.

Some were financial and some were of the heart, some effected my family, some effected my career, some were based on bad advice from friends or family, some from strangers and some simply because I was young and dumb.

Fortunately for me none of these bad choices ever landed me in any real trouble. I have a clean criminal record I am somewhat buoyant financially, I have a healthy, happy family that I like to think loves me.

None of my bad choices will ever compare to the ones former New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez has made. His tragically bad decisions have left a man dead, a daughter without a father, wife without a husband and a promising career in tatters.

Putting aside the most obvious fact that a man is dead, his actions have resulted in being charged with a murder, losing his endorsement deals, being cut by his team and voiding a new contract worth over 40 million dollars.

Like I said, bad choices.

I love sports because it is an escape, it is something to focus on and rally around and take my mind off of everyday things, a place where Barry Sanders or Cal Ripken can be a hero and an inspiration.

It gives me hope that even at thirty-nine my curveball might actually start curving and I finally make it to the “bigs” or my golf game will suddenly improve twenty-five strokes and I will qualify for my PGA card.

I always dislike when real life tragedy enters the sports arena and I am always disappointed when it does. But for every Hernandez, Rae Carruth, or Barry Bonds, a guy who makes the wrong choice, there is an Orr, a Sanders, a Ripken or a Gretzky, a guy who can inspire you and make you believe.

Now, just in case there happens to be a major league scout out there reading this column I play for the Mighty Marineros in the Liga de Softball de Puerto Vallarta at Agustin Flores Contreras Municipal Sports Stadium. Ask any local, they can give you the directions, they will tell you it’s just across from the Sheraton.

Madeline Milne on EmailMadeline Milne on Instagram
Living in Mexico full time since 2011, Madeline is a graphic designer, writer, iPhone photographer and road tripper.


  1. My thoughts on your article, Joel, is that life for many is too short to make mistakes, and to recover – and sports are too important in one’s life to be used for an escape.
    It is said that in each generation there are but a few that contribute something new to society, and the number of successful persons are relatively few. Thus the saying: to error is human. Every decision you make , every thing you do, should be looked at as a matter of life or death, for in our modern world there are over 7 billion persons competing with you for survival.
    My wife says that I have lived a charmed life. In the sense that we have been married for 59 years , it is likely true. But I think before I make a decision, think before I make a move. This includes taking all the course in school that I needed through my working career, including shops and sports. I made a living on all of them. I had paying jobs since the second grade. Worked one job through middle school, left home, with two jobs through high school, became a machinist , design engineer, electrical engineer, tennis pro, president of professional corporation, musician , and a writer.
    My friends and co-workers called it genius. Degree in electrical engineering and business, and two plus years of Law study and Computer science. Nothing was left to chance. No bad choices, nor an escape in sports!
    Learning is a lifetime journey, that we take with us in spirit, and program in our genes that we transfer to our children, and they to their children. Nothing in this universe is ever lost.

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