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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Boston sports mend broken city

John Sleezer
Will Middlebrooks, right, of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by teammate David Ortiz (34) after hitting a three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning on Monday, May 7, 2012, in Kansas City, Missouri. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/MCT)

Monday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in front of 37,449 at Boston’s historical Fenway Park.

About an hour after the game ended, and a little more than a mile away from Fenway, two explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line and the city of Boston as a whole.

After, we learned both how insignificant and important sports are for society.

All at once, a holiday was turned into a national anniversary, and the innocence of the day replaced with gut-wrenching sorrow.

A yet-to-be-determined entity set off explosions at Monday’s Boston Marathon, on Patriots’ Day, a civic holiday in Massachusetts and Maine.

The main goal of an act of terrorism is, of course, to terrorize people and leave in its path thousands of broken people.

And make no mistake; the victims of the attack will not soon forget the sheer misery Monday brought to them and the citizens of Boston.

Sports, and in particular the Boston Marathon, showcase not only athletes but also humanity’s ability to put aside differences for just a moment and celebrate athletics. Sports have the power to unify people.

There is no better example than the magic of the Olympic Games, which brought together athletes and spectators from more than 193 countries last summer in London.

There is no more powerful moment in sports than the opening of the Olympics, when people from all over the world gather to celebrate life and sports, which provide an escape for viewers and athletes.

How many times have you heard a professional athlete say they were driven to competition by something negative in their life? Sports give people a release, the same way music and art do.

The Boston Marathon was not of the same magnitude of the Olympics, but participants from more than 50 countries competed, and, as a result, this attack was not only on the United States, but on the happiness the entire world derives from athletics of any kind.

The emotional power of sports lies not only in sun-soaked days spent with loved ones at the ballpark or the perceived integrity and honesty of each match, but the ability of athletics to “inspire a generation,” as last summer’s Olympic slogan suggested.

Instead, everyone involved with the marathon was robbed of their peace of mind. The Boston Marathon and Patriots’ Day will forever be the anniversary of this tragic bombing, instead of another chance to celebrate the physical accomplishments of people.

The Boston Red Sox were the only professional team to play Monday, as the NBA’s Boston Celtics and the NHL’s Boston Bruins canceled and postponed their games, respectively.

Fans of these teams ordinarily look to the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins as outlets for whatever is happening in their lives.

The Red Sox will be counted on more than the latter two, for they play every day, and now play for a broken city trying to piece itself back together.

“I love Boston … It’s my new home … I’m still in shock and can’t wrap my head around all of this,” Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks tweeted yesterday.

Today, Middlebrooks added, “I can’t wait to put on my jersey today… I get to play for the strongest city out there. #BostonStrong.”

The bombings riddled the professional schedule of Boston’s pro teams irrelevant, giving the city the time it needs to breathe and recover. But now, Boston’s sports teams will be among the first semblances of normalcy and can slowly help mend the city.

“Being in the city, one thing I will say is that you’re just very proud to be a part of Boston,” said Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, who lives just blocks from where the explosions occurred, according to the Celtics’ website.

“I saw people who didn’t work for the police directing traffic, showing people where to go. I thought the spirit of Boston was phenomenal last night. A tragic event either separates you or brings you together, and it clearly brought the city of Boston together.”

– Cameron Moon is the sports editor. He can be reached at or on Twitter via @MoonCameron20.

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