How the Boston Marathon bombings changed one man's perspective on sports

How the Boston Marathon bombings changed one's perspective on sports

Fenway Park in Boston

Sports are supposed to be fun. I say that to the kids I coach, and I write it in articles when someone takes it too seriously. But I’m a hypocrite. Sports are one of the most important things to me. If you ask my wife, they are too important (she’s wrong).

My weekends can be ruined or made with a late touchdown pass, missed field goal, clutch three-pointer or timely double play. When my team wins I’m happy. When my team loses I am not. I don’t do a very good job (and by “don’t do a very good job” I mean “do not attempt to”) in keeping my emotions in check and I have been told, repeatedly, that my actions affect others around me. Is an overly-competitive 8-year old a bit of a problem at times? It depends who you ask.

I love the Texas Longhorns and I hate the oklahoma sooners. I hate them so much I refuse to capitalize their name and have to fight spell check every time I write about them. I hate the Miami Heat, the Florida Gators and internet Aggies (that’s not a shot at Manziel; rather, the over-the-top super fans that live online). I don’t like Auburn, the New England Patriots, the L.A. Angels, Kansas or Ohio State. Same with Rashad Bauman, Arrion Dixon, Terrell Owens, Toni Braxton, Jay Brooks and countless others. I don’t apologize for that. I am emotional about my teams and it’s visible. I realized on Monday it’s garbage.

Patriot's Day in Boston is a big deal. It’s a holiday commemorating the first battle of the American Revolution and is a civic holiday, school holiday and three-day weekend. Every Patriot's Day, the Red Sox play a home and play early (10 or 11 a.m.), starting about the same time as the Boston Marathon. That race snakes around the city and ends in Back Bay, very close to Fenway Park, and at the 24-mile mark, racers hit the Fenway area, with most arriving about the same time the baseball game ends.

If you’ve ever been to Fenway you know the bars and restaurants around the stadium are a pre-and post-game party like nowhere else. Thousands of fans leaving the game and bumping around the bars join the thousands of families, friends and fans of the runners to cheer them on to the finish line. I can’t think of many better things than seeing a baseball game, having some day drinks and hanging out with 100,000 of my best friends…

…Unless some uninvited guests blow it up. By know we all know three people were killed and 176 were horrifically injured  when IED-like explosions rocked the finish line right after the 4-hour mark of the race. One of those killed was an 8-year old boy, rooting his father on to finish. I can’t get my head around that. As the father of an 8-year old boy and the husband of a marathon runner, it could have been him. Or her. Or all of us… But I don’t think about that, because I can’t. What I keep thinking about is how this great weekend, this great day, was forever changed for the victims, their families, the runners, the attendees and the town.

It puts sports into perspective. I don’t really hate the oklahoma sooners, or Florida or internet Aggies. I don’t really hate the Miami Heat. It’s easy to get wrapped up ins wins and losses and antics, but a day like Monday is a solemn reminder that sports are supposed to be FUN.

The tragedy in Boston is there every day for hundreds, thousands, of those directly affected. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I hope the healing begins soon and I hope the fun of sports and Patriot Day return to each of you. This was a horrible thing, but it reminded me that the sports that drew them all out on Monday are supposed to be FUN.

I won’t lose the fun side anymore. 

Boston-Strong, people.


Follow Trey on Twitter @TreyMcLean or email him with your thoughts.