“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Sometimes the sports landscape is like soldiers landing by sea transport and trying to make it off the beach.
There are bombs going off all around, bullets are flying by, and everyone is racing because everything is happening so fast.
The goal? To get off the beach. To get out of harm’s way because even if you don’t get completely taken out you could be left to linger and bleed out on the sand.
In sports the beach is the weekend. The objective is getting to the safety of Monday. The bombs are losses or terrible misfortune like a season ending injury. The bullets are the shots the media and the fans continually take. Worst of all those shots seem to come from all directions. If they’re not killing you they are wounding you. If they are not wounding you, then they are hitting in the dirt all around you and keeping you hunkered down.
If you’re the St. Louis Rams you’ve been hit and have been left on the beach. The New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers are face down in the surf.
Clayton Kershaw and A.J. Ellis made it to safety but when they look around they realize that Matt Kemp didn’t make it off the beach.
USC’s Lane Kiffin made it to Sunday morning before machine gun fire took him down at the airport. The rest of his team is trying to crawl to the end of the weekend.
Bombs are going off and bullets continue to fly. Misfortune and poor performances begin to pile up, and the bullets become a steady stream of flying led.
How on earth are these teams and players going to get off the beach?
And even if they get off the beach…Even if they make it to Monday there’s another beach, another hill, another weekend, and another round of bombs and bullets flying their way.
Lives are altered forever, jobs are lost, seasons are over just like that.
It’s madness. It’s like everything, everywhere, has turned into Normandy and the only grace, the only saving plan, is get to Monday. Attempt to heal, and try to get ready for the next battle.
It’s sports. It’s not war. And when our teams or coaches fail we do not die. They do not die. Yeah, someone might lose their job but most likely they are bought out of a contract equal to five years of our yearly salary.
If we accept that its just sports then our blood pressure doesn’t have to rise.
We can stay off the message boards and perhaps, perhaps focus on what is really most dear.
God, family, country.
Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org