In a perfect world, sports should provide the ultimate distraction – the (usually) feel good place a person can go for a break when the world around them gets to be a bit too much. The world of sports should not ever be a place of sorrow, or where the worries of the world are placed squarely in front of those of us seeking a minute of peace. Unfortunately, that was not the case last few weeks, when two men detonated two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. In an instant what had been a joyous sporting event turned into a horrible situation. The result of the explosion, as we all know, was horrific: three dead, and close to 200 injured. It also prematurely ended the race for hundreds of runners who had worked, some of them for a lifetime, for the opportunity to run the famed marathon.
The bombers not only caused needless death and injury, but they also took a bit of innocence from the American public. No longer can a person go to a ballgame or a race and not think about the possibility of an attack. This became all too apparent for me when I attended a Major League Baseball game last Saturday, and saw a policeman walking around the stadium with a bomb-sniffing dog. At no point prior to last Monday would I ever have considered the need for police with dogs patrolling the walkways of a baseball stadium, but on Saturday it was actually kind of reassuring, which struck a sad chord in my emotions.
Ultimately, the only thing we can do is move on. There is certainly no reason to stay locked up in your house, and it was refreshing to see the world of sports do just that. Both the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins had huge turnouts for their games last week, and the players celebrated the toughness and strength of the people of Boston during ceremonies before their games. Tributes and comfort came to the victims from other athletes as well. Members of the Oakland A’s baseball team visited victims of the bomb in the hospital, while hockey player Keith Yandle honored 8-year old victim Martin Richard by wearing his name both on his skates, and on a specially-made jersey he wore for warm-ups prior to a recent game. It is in this way that sports can help us to move on, if only for a few hours, and just take some time to focus on your favorite team, or athlete and once again get a little bit of that peace that watching sports can bring you.