I am one of those people who are not amused whenever some professional athlete complains about being paid $5M when they want to be paid $6M; I likewise am not a fan of childish and selfish antics many athletes engage in. However, I do believe in the power of sports to help us move forward; I daren’t say the power to heal, because that comes to each of us individually, but the ability to make life somewhat normal after a tragedy.
After the horrific actions of a coward in Boston on Monday, the United States was stunned. I couldn’t believe it, and neither could many others. When I first heard about the bombings, I entered a state of shock; it’s hard to move for a while after you hear something like that, and if you’re forced to move, as I was when I heard about 9/11, it puts me in a funk that doesn’t dissipate for a while.
However, life goes on, and so must we. When I thought about the Boston tragedy, I realized how much normalcy was around me; I had my friends who I could call; I had my family; and I had my sports to remind me that things were going to be okay. When I heard that my Yankees would play “Sweet Caroline”, a Fenway tradition, I couldn’t help but smile, since it was a reminder that life transcends sports, and that we are all human, bound together, and we are only Yankees and Red Sox when our teams are on the field. I smiled when I heard that the Red Sox, usually the enemy, had pummeled the Cleveland Indians, because I knew it made people in Boston smile and cheer. It didn’t heal the wounds, but it reminded me that life was moving forward.
Ultimately, though, the stories of goodwill towards our fellow man, which became part of Tuesday’s fabric, made moving forward easier. It was the heroic stories of people opening their doors, making dinner for those in need; the Red Cross getting so many blood donations they had to start turning people away; and the reminder that for every bad person out there, there are hundreds of good people to combat them.
Just like New York in 2001, Boston will recover; it is a strong community, a strong city, and the people there will not let this get them down.