Getting close to normal


September 21, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

After the tragedy of the past week, I for one can say I was glad to see the return of Major League Baseball on Monday.

Of course the return of baseball hardly made things normal. No, the glare of the world at large still seems to eclipse any sort of distraction that sports can offer, but that does not mean that their return has not helped. Monday was indeed a fine day as several Major League Baseball teams returned to the field and Tuesday was even better as the day was filled with a full-slate of baseball action.

There was, however, a difference, the difference being the games seemed to have lost some of their edge. By that I mean they no longer seemed to matter quite as much. Yes, while it was true I was more than happy to see the major leaguers back on the field, I really didn't care as much about who won or lost.


Of course this could be because the Red Sox have fallen so far out of the playoff race that I wouldn't care about who was winning or losing no matter the circumstances, but I suspect that the state of the world had more than a little to do with my feelings.

In fact, conformation of this very thought came later Monday when reviled Red Sox outfielder Carl Everett found himself in hot water with the team once again. After reading a story about his latest misconduct in the Boston Globe, I found myself laughing at Carl rather than being upset with him. For what kind of jackass would conduct himself in such a way just days after one of the greatest national tragedies? I guess the Carl Everett kind, but what can you expect from a man who doesn't believe in dinosaurs or that man ever walked on the moon?

But enough about all the bad things. Today I'd like to focus on the good. That good being the healing power of our national passion. I'm not talking about baseball specifically, I'm talking about sports in general. No matter the level on which they are being played, I get the sense that these frivolous games are helping all of us cope with what has happened to our country. Like I said, they might not take away the pain, but they certainly offer a well-needed distraction.

I am sure I am not the only one who was happy to see baseball return, just as I'm sure I'm not the only one waiting for Saturday's college football games or Sunday's resumption of the NFL. These games are so a part of our everyday lives that I truly think we need them so we can feel normal as a society.

I became apparent to me that during the almost week-long absence of sports, that things did not feel right. And I'm sure that this was something the perpetrators of these acts of violence against our country wanted. They wanted to make things here feel foreign, they wanted to disrupt our everyday lives and that's what they did. With the return of baseball, the NFL and college football we will take this part of our lives back and that's an important step in our recovery.

Don't think this is all happening at the national level, either. By simply attending a local sporting event we too can help assuage the anger, fear, guilt (whatever emotion one might be feeling at the time) and also take a step back toward normalcy.

I spent a fine evening watching the Calipatria football team take on a team from Yuma Catholic in Yuma last Friday and I can honestly tell you it worked wonders for me. I had spent most of the week worrying about just where this world was headed, but after a Friday night roaming the sidelines of what might seem an unimportant game, I began to feel that anything was possible, and that was exactly the way I needed to feel.

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