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Modern sports have a way of uniting communities and injecting a sense of national pride in its citizens. We see a mass allegiance and following in favor of supporting favorite teams and players from both small and local to massive international competitions Jaguars Chris Ivory Jersey , like the Olympic games held every two years. Sports not only provide a place for healthy competition but also instigate strong notions of national pride. Dominating a large percentage of our global entertainment industry, it is hard not to question the importance of sport and whether or not it has always been all fun and games. Sports and competition have been around since the beginning of civilization, adapting and interacting with growing cultures in many ways. Mesoamerican ballgames are a prime example of how what we perceive as pure fun and entertainment nowadays was once an important cultural cornerstone in society. The stakes were much higher. The champion would not only garner esteem and fame but also in win wars and be awarded kingdoms. The Mesoamerican ballgames, commonly referred to as the Ollama Jaguars Blake Bortles Jersey , were varied in execution and custom depending on the tribe or era, although certain basic principals adjoin them all together. All seemed to have developed and evolved throughout the times, adjusting to meet society's needs. The rules and regulations of actual games are largely unknown. So scholars concede the lack of records means only predictions that lean towards modern games can be made. We assume the ancient games are most likely to resemble racquetball or volleyball when in comparison to modern sports. As with the rules of the game, reasons for specific cultural implementations of the sport are highly speculated with few facts actually written in stone. One important aspect of games was the representation of the struggle between day and night; life and the underworld. The Tlachtli (ball court) was a holy place and was considered to hold portals to the underworld. The ball was thought to represent the sun Black Denard Robinson Jersey , whereas structural rings that were placed on opposing sides of the court were said to represent the sunrise and the sunset. This is why most of the courts were found in ceremonial sections of the town, much like the temples that were built. Because of the strong ties to Mesoamerican belief systems, many tales and legends that were passed down throughout generations were centered around the Ollama. One of the most famous myths in the religious text, Popol Vuh Black T.J. Yeldon Jersey , speaks of Hunahpu and Xbalanque These twin brothers sought to avenge their family's death. Legend has it their father and uncle were defeated by the Lords of the Underworld during a ball game and lost their lives as a result. The hero twins, obsessed with avenging their ancestor's deaths, spent years training and battling in the Tlachtli until finally challenging and defeating the Lords of the Underworld. The story shows the symbolic importance of sport to the ancient Mesoamerican people. It contains subtle messages of pride, loyalty and courage in association with sport. Later archaeological evidence shows that due to the strong relationships between religion and ceremony Black Dante Fowler Jr Jersey , human sacrifice is suspected to have been inflicted towards those who were defeated during sport. This was very strong within Mayan and Veracruz societies as signs of the sacrificial component to the game can be seen throughout ball court panels and sculpture. Whether or not it was to offer a gift to the gods or to cement their victory by collecting trophies in the form of skulls, execution and sacrifice is a common component with the Ollama. Despite the grim consequences of those who were defeated, Mesoamerican ballgames have also played a very positive and peaceful role in ancient societies. Many games were arranged by leaders to squash minor differences and avoid an outspread of warfare all together. Whichever side had won would rule depending on the terms of the initial agreement. This most definitely prevented many conflicts between tribes and established a form of treaty between feuding communities. The symbolism of ancient sport is not lost in today's climate. Even as people gather together in goofy face paint and large foam fingers, correlations of meaning between the past and the present still exist in sport and competition. Whereas war and sacrifice are no longer an essential element in the game Black Jalen Ramsey Jersey , sport still has the ability to form unions and gain a sense of pride in people. An important component in any society, sport will always be more than just fun and games. 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The Los Angeles Angels will open the season with four starting pitchers, meaning Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano will likely begin the year with Triple-A Salt Lake.

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Garrett Richards, who is recovering from left knee surgery and has lo

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