Watching sports respond to Boston tragedies

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Today, the Boston Red Sox have broken tradition.  Instead of the traditional “Red Sox” on their home jerseys, “Boston” was the word stitched upon their chest, and the opposing Royals wore patches saying “B Strong”. Neil Diamond came to sing Sweet Caroline, but my favorite response is in the pre-game ceremonies, David Ortiz told the crowd “This is our f***ing city – and nobody is going to dictate it.”. The game ended on a great note, with the Red Sox reclaiming the lead in the eighth and winning.

After the tragedy in Boston, things… – were rough. Very rough. The bombers, still on the loose at the time, and an entire city scared – that isn’t good – at all. This is how the rest of sports responded.

Last night, when the news broke out of the second suspect being captured, The Angels crowd and the Giants crowd both broke out into sweet caroline. Many chants of “USA, USA” were heard at other parks. The Celtics wore shirts with “Boston stands as one.” for warmups, and the patch was added to their jersey, as well as a black stripe. Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce, traditional enemies, both agreed and talked about the events.

The New York Yankees, (incase you follow sports and live under multiple rocks) showed their love for rivals Boston, with moments of silence, and many Yankees fans came to games wearing Red Sox jerseys.

Sports has traditionally reacted well to tragedy. Between our reactions to Newtown, 9/11, Penn State and more, we have shown as sports fans to put differences aside and agree. But this time around, I think we did a particularly good job.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a ton of things that need to be changed with sports. But the way we respond to tragedy?

I hope that never changes.

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The hardest (and easiest) sports to watch

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Okay, raise your hand if you watched The Masters. The whole thing.

Okay, now raise your hand if you just watched the final day.

Raise your hand if you only watched the last hour. (Me).

I was thinking about this as I extended all my CBS primetime shows by an hour… who can really sit down and watch 4 days of golf? I mean, really? Who can even watch one day? So I thought that, hey – people might say that about baseball, which led me here. So, without any further ado, my sports that are the easiest and hardest to watch.

FOOTBALL: Okay, the game is fine – it’s timed, it can be exciting, it’s unpredictable, and they play through any weather. Here’s the real problem I have with it. It’s three hours. No, not the game. It’s a mere 60 minutes. Which means there are 120 minutes of assorted timeouts, breaks and stoppages. Which stinks. If you watch a game of football, only 33% is actually them playing the game. Which makes it different from any other sport – in quite a bad way. And also, who can really watch they 1 and a half yard gains being cross-analyzed without going insane?

BASKETBALL: It’s all great.  It’s an hour less than football. It’s excitement, dunks, fun, a person who is new can pick it up fairly easily, and there is never a true stop in the action. Unless the game is close. And you know what comes after that – intentional fouls. Which lead to foul shots.  And after that, there are timeouts. Which mean 2 minutes turn into 4. And 4 minutes turn into 8. So when the game ends, the clock has been below a minute for 6 minutes. Which makes me repeatedly bang my head against whatever hard surface I can get to.

HOCKEY: There aren’t really stops. There’s only one timeout. It’s high scoring. There’s no problem!! Except for this. Ice hockey is very tiring. So the games take 2 and a half hours. The other problem I have with it is that I can’t really see the puck. It moves very fast, and unless you have been trained to watch hockey all of your life, it’s really hard to follow. Like, really hard.

SOCCER: No stops except for one. Constant action. Timed games. Brilliant plays. Easy to pick up.  Fun to watch if you understand it. And if the games matter. So have we found our golden game? The only visible problem I can find with it is faking injuries. Aside from that, I think this could be it…

BASEBALL: Baseball, is actually rather hard to watch. It is very hard to interpret if you don’t know the game, and has no time frame, but still many commercial breaks. Plus the bullpen calls. And it can get tedious. So unless you know the game and like it, you can really love to hate it.

GOLF: Okay, with no offense to golf, with tournaments, unless you are a golf fanatic, really, are you going to watch every second of the Masters? Now how about the Shell Houston Open? Hmm….

And now, the official Sports According to Will list of HARDEST SPORTS TO WATCH (6 is hardest to watch, 1 is easiest)

6. Golf

5. Baseball

4. Hockey

3. Football

2. Basketball

1. Soccer

So could the theory be that the simpler the game, the easier it is to watch? Maybe…

This is just me, so tell me about you if you want to!

Sincerely,

The Sports According to Will Information Bureau. (A.K.A. me)

You probably won’t agree with this opinion on Kevin Ware and his injury….

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The bone is connected now. And the leg is back together. And that’s all that really matters, right?

Maybe. Maybe not. Let me explain. The injury was gruesome, possibly the worst I’ve ever seen. I don’t want to go into detail. It made grown men cry, fans lose their lunch and a twitter trend #prayforware. But truly, is it that important.

While it has sparked a possible championship run and a ton of fans and prayers, is it deserving of this much coverage? First of all, seeing that injury on National TV was gruesome. It was scary. Even so, many women and men suffer the exact same injury every day. And while I’m sure not many will tell their friends or teammates don’t worry, just win (even though I’m sure there are a few) this is not a life threatening injury. While it might derail his career, and make him a worse player, he is not paralyzed. He is not on life support. It is not that bad.

Second, if we are going to be using social media to be praying, at least let’s pray for somebody who deserves it more. While it’s a broken leg, many members of our army die each year. Pray for them. Pray for their families. Pray for Nelson Mandela, who is in the hospital. And while the injury is gruesome, think, who deserves it more – a basketball player, or the men or women protecting our country, and their families.

Finally, I feel like the country is embracing it too much. I know we are passionate about sports (I know I am) but we have managed to scrap together for things like Newtown, VA Tech, Hurricane Sandy, Irene, the Japan Earthquake and many other things. Yet, we seem to give the same attention to this. I don’t get it, nor do I think it’s right.

You may agree with this. You may not. But think about it for a second. And maybe, next time you are on instagram or twitter, you can use the hashtag #prayforourtroops instead.