Sports fans quick to forget real tragedy


Four months ago people discovered what real disaster is.
The death of thousands of American people at the hands of terrorists stirred an entire nation's emotions like they had never been stirred before.
In the days and weeks following the disaster, to get upset over an athletic event was asinine.
Sports Illustrated did an entire issue on "The Day Sports Stopped," emphasizing how sports had finally been put into perspective.
Football fanatics' beloved Sunday NFL games were cancelled, and no one dared complain.
When play did resume, sports writers didn't use the cliches "battle in the trenches" or "hard fought victories" in sporting event coverage, because the reality was that soon thousands of American soldiers might be engrossed in real "battles in the trenches," where they really were fighting for their lives.
Prior to games when gigantic American flags were displayed on playing fields for the national anthem, people weren't restless in the stands and athletes weren't rolling their necks and scratching their crotches.
Players held hands, fans put their hands over their hearts, and many cried.
When the anthem was over, the main event seemed to be over, and the athletic competition seemed to be secondary.
Once again, to scream and ridicule the events on the playing field seemed ridiculous.
Throughout this surreal time, I wondered how long this new sporting outlook would last.
A short four months later, I can safely say, not very long.
In recent weeks, beer bottles have been thrown at referees, a coach has screamed racial slurs at an obnoxious fan and a major university has threatened to sue the BCS.
In addition to these crude displays, fans, coaches, players and sports journalists from three different states became engrossed in an embittered argument over who deserves to play for a national championship.
In New York City, a boxer bare-knuckle sucker-punched his opponent when he reached out to hug him after the decision was read.
The really sad part of that story is that the card was held to raise money to help fund New York City's relief effort.
The barbaric capabilities of fans recently hit home for some young local hockey players as well.
In a game at Gunnison, the Moffat County Cougars played in front of Gunnison fans so hostile that police had to be called to maintain control.
It's one thing for professional athletes to have to endure immature, idiotic fans, but a bunch of teenagers?
These are kids competing against one another for their love of the game, while the people they are supposed to look up to act like such degenerates in the stands that authorities need to be contacted.
What's happened here?
How can a real tragedy be so quickly forgotten, and a simple competition once again become a matter of life or death in the minds of people?
It's not life or death.
What occurred on Sept. 11 and what is happening in a war overseas involves the possibility of life abruptly ending in death.
What occurs on fields, courts and ice rinks in the United States should be kept in perspective and looked at how it is intended to be.
Simply put, it's just a game.

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