Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fair Play: Sports should be about sports again


That’s perhaps one of the biggest questions in the sports world after the horror of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Sports is supposed to be where we get along, one where we forget the horrors and problems that make the front pages and focus on the human spirit.

Sports is where those who don’t share political and religious beliefs compete together in an even field.  It’s where clichés are overused and writers get away with saying a free throw can save a nation, or a penalty stop lifts a country.  It’s where the trivial become major details.

Sports is supposed to be about sports, not lunatics who think hurting scores of people is fair game.  It’s where medical personnel treat rolled ankles or exhausted athletes, not maimed limbs or those who are fighting for their lives. It’s where the media treat injured egos  or play the armchair coach, not armchair detectives.

In the days, weeks--and for some, months and years--those who attend sports event or join one, will probably look over their shoulder and think, I hope we won’t have a lunatic today.

I wasn’t born when Munich 1972 happened and I pray the Boston Marathon bombing would be the last one, but I know it won’t.  We live in a world where some believe killing others is just, as long as you convince yourself it is.

We live in a sick world.

The sports world was supposed to be our refuge.

Our sanctuary, one where, for a few hours or a few rounds we forget about the problems of the other world.

It’s naïve thinking but it is what it is.

Will the Boston Marathon—the most prestigious running event in the world—ever recover from this? 

Of course it will, one step at a time.  Because that’s sports.

Ultimately the human spirit—the essence of sports—always recovers.  It always wins over a single act of any lunatic. 

Runners from all over the world will still chase the Holy Grail of running; they will still go on those  solo runs, chasing, sometimes stubbornly, that elusive spot to what is for them, one of the most difficult pursuit in their lives.

Because that is sports.

Nothing is impossible, if you’d just do it.  They’d tell themselves.

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