Sometimes things happen in life that put sports into perspective. The school shooting this past Friday was one of those things. When the president addressed the country last Friday he was speaking as a fellow parent. Being a parent myself I can't imagine sitting there hoping my kids are alright, and knowing that even if they are alright they will never truly be alright after watching their friends being murdered right in front of their eyes. I could not imagine being a parent and having to bury my child, or just as bad to have to explain to my child how and why this happened.
The last time something like this happened was 9/11, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was coaching high school football in Ohio, one of the players came in and told me about what was happening and to turn on the news. I remember the feeling at the school, and the conversations going on and what the kids were saying to each other, and what they were asking us. I remember that day football practice was canceled and they wanted everyone to go home and be with their families. On 9/11 football and sports in general seemed completely irrelevant, and maybe they were.
Friday afternoon was very hard turning on the mic and trying to pretend for an hour that all that mattered was the sports that were going on this weekend. It didn't really matter what format of station you work at sometimes the stories are so good or bad that it is news either way. This was a horrible story no matter how you look at it, as someone who used to work at a school, as a former student, and as a parent I feel lots of things. The 3 biggest things though are anger, confused, and most of all sad. I don't know what is going to be done about this, I don't know what "rules" are going to be made that will "fix" this, quite frankly I don't know if there even is a way to fix what happened and could happen any day.
What happened this weekend was horrible, as I watched sports all weekend long there was one tribute after another for Friday's victims, there was a story of Victor Cruz being one of the victims heroes, and that he would maybe even be buried in his jersey. Sometimes we put athletes up on pedestals and treat them like they are not human, watching the tributes and seeing the tears dropping from athlete's eyes, it proved that they are human like we are. Even though they can dunk a basketball, or throw a football better than I could ever dream of doing, we also have a common ground as a father that can't imagine what the victims father's are feeling.
Keeping sports in perspective over all of this is kind of hard. To me talking sports with you every afternoon, I for the most part can put all of my problems behind me, I can argue with you like something so insignificant and petty is the biggest issue in the world. Heck, come to think of it maybe sports are pretty important afterall.