Most sports fans know what the games mean to them. It’s an escape from reality. For about two and a half hours a day, sports gives the fans a way to relax, forget about their problems and get lost in something that’s supposed to be fun. More often than not, watching sports on TV and listening to them on the radio are fun. Sports rivalries, and the sports themselves, become pretty trivial in the face of tragic events.
Sure sports become secondary to major tragedy. Teams and leagues have cancelled games the day of a major tragedy taking place; it’s not all that uncommon. It is a matter of common sense, a matter of respect. Sports are not important in those moments. Sports are important in the aftermath to help us heal and get back to our daily lives.
Sports also have a way of helping bring people together, and two of those events have proved a point that sports do have a needed place in society.
First is obvious. The first sporting event back in the city of New York after the attacks of 9/11/01. It took place at Shea Stadium on September 21, a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. At the time, most of the nation was still in shock over the events of just two weeks prior. On that night for a couple of hours, many Americans, and people in general, got the feeling again that it was okay to enjoy things like this again. It was just the right thing to do. People were able to move on with their lives, and baseball helped kick start it that night.
Just because sporting events are starting up again after a tragedy doesn’t change the overall big picture. What sports does do is it gives people a way to try and start moving forward. Sports lets us know that it’s okay to be normal, it’s okay to move on with our lives, and it’s okay to get distracted by something as small as a kids’ game.
Face facts: Sports can’t really fix anything. Sports can’t bring back lost love ones. Sports can’t stop senseless violence. It would be wonderful if sports could be able to prevent tragedy, but they can’t. All sports can do is really help us feel better about whats going on around us, and quite frankly there’s nothing wrong with that.