Sports Leading the way after Boston Tragedy

Posted by bfreeman on April 16, 2013

What happened yesterday in Boston was a tragedy in every form of the word.  But that doesn’t mean everything following was a negative.You can’t watch those videos or see those pictures without dying a little inside.  I get that.  Everyone spent yesterday asking “why?”  But in the aftermath, people responded the way they always do.  The sports world took the lead once again, reminding us that while sports are a distraction to life, they can be one of the great healing forces we can all share.

There are countless stories of heroism associated with the bombings in Boston yesterday.  Whether it runners helping other runners or people becoming medical personel o the spot or just people praying together for answers, the human spirit was stronger than anything the bombers attempted to accomplish.  Few details are known about who may or may not committed such an act, but there will be time to decide those for themselves.

The sports world, however, seems to always get it in times of crisis.  They, despite all the whining and fighting over money, and all the negatives you get from soccer and hockey fans being allowed to breed, seem to get it when things go wrong.  They stop trying to be the focus of our lives and offer themselves up as a distraction.  They’re not trying to be important.  They’re trying to be invisible.  No one ever really knows how to react after such an event, but sports seems to always understand the magnitude.

The NHL and NBA were very quick to cancel games scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.  It’s hoped that the Bruins can make up their game with the Ottawa Senators.  The NBA has already announced that the game between the Celtics and Indiana Pacers will not be made up.  Which was the right move in the wake of the bombings, but at the same time, isn’t the one place you want to be somewhere with other people where you can share in the highs and lows together?  I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true.  We should share in moments together and in the wake of something as heinous as a terroristic bombing of the Boston Marathon, showing solidarity is the least one could do to try and move forward.

Don’t kid yourself, the politicizing of this act is coming.  Like a bad rash, it’s going to rear its ugly head.  But sports seems to be immune to such ridiculousness.  It takes care of it’s own silliness by replacing “who do we blame” with “Fire ‘em, they’re all bums.”  And what’s funny is that despite everything, you can still hate Boston.  It’s almost hollow to say “I’m gonna be a Boston fan because of this”.  No you don’t.  How great is that?  Sports allows you to get back to normal quicker than life would.  You can still hate the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, and more.  If nothing is awesome to you, that should be.

When he spoke to the country yesterday, President Obama said those responsible would be brought to the full justice of the law.  What do you think sports does every day?  There’s a level of justice in every game.  In every tweet (good or bad) there is a response.  Eventually, you get yours.  If you miss a free throw in one game, you’ll get another chance.  Every made shot is mixed with 10 misses.  Justice is served instantly every day in the world of sports and if it isn’t instantly, eventually, it comes.

Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis had an interesting post earlier today on sports and terrorist attacks.  They’re not common at all.  In fact, you’re probably never going to see it.  Not that it couldn’t happen, but it seems this is area of life that just might be safer than anyone gives it credit for.  The bigger the event, the tighter the security.  and while I agree with Clay that you can’t stop crazy, doesn’t tighter security really make you feel a little safer?  Even a little?  Imagine if we guarded our banks and schools like we guard our stadiums.

Sports is an endless discussion of good and bad, who’s hot and who’s not, and why your team is awesome and that guy’s team sucks.  It divides families and brings strangers to hugs and tears together.  In times of joy, it can sometimes get ugly (any hockey town that has won the Stanley Cup, disco demolition night) but when we need to grieve a tragedy (Pearl Harbor, 9/11), sports has always been a safety net of support.  Boston will recover, as it always has.  We should follow their lead and let sports guide us forward as we try to understand why.

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