When worlds collide

Dec. 02, 2012 @ 08:09 AM

So many people hate the news. They hate to read the news or even watch it on television. When you ask why, they all seem to answer the same way...it's all bad news.

Those people tend to be right.

Newscasts and front pages tend to be littered with murders, car wrecks and natural disasters.

That's why I went into sports journalism.

Sports is an escape from the reality that's filled with death, job loss, poverty, depression and disease.

Sports provides people with something else to think about. Something that they can't control but love the helpless feeling as they watch there favorite teams in person or on television.

Saturday was one of those days where we could take refuge from the work week and the everyday hassles of life to enjoy state championship football games, college basketball and conference championships that would define seasons for some our favorite teams.

That was until the real world invaded our sports world.

Saturday morning Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Javon Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend before driving to Arrowhead Stadium where he thanked his coach and general manager for their support before he turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

This was no longer football. This was no longer sports. This was life. This was death. This was tragedy.

This was the type of tragedy that brings me back down to earth and realize that points are the most important part of life. Touchdowns, free throws and double plays are meaningless.

All week I've been buried in high school basketball and anticipating my Panthers' matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon. Now all I'll be able to think about while I watch the game today (if I can even bring myself to) is the fact that a young man and woman is dead and an infant child has lost both of its parents.

Hearing this story makes me hope and pray that I never have to cover an incident like this.

I like focusing on great athletes doing extraordinary things in their sports and coaches turning teenagers into incredible young adults. But I know that isn't what life is about.

This tragedy clarifies how small sports can really be.

So enjoy sports and competition as a refuge from everyday life, but understand how insignificant it really is.

Enjoy the opportunity to watch your healthy son or daughter play a sport that they love without worrying about the amount of points they score or the number of shots they take.

My job is a blessing. I focus on the good things in life. People open the B-section of this newspaper to read about teams and players that bring them joy and to see their child's name in print. But sometimes life gets in the way, and on days like today, even the sports section seems a little somber.