Long Shots

This past week we witnessed perhaps one of the worst single tragedies in American history.

Lives were lost and others were put on hold as watchful eyes tuned in to the latest reports abouts the attack on the World Trade Center buildings.

And, respectfully, major sporting events were postponed or cancelled in light of these events.

Sports usually draw too much attention away from the things that are really important in our lives.

Back in August, I wrote about the importance of sports in the world and have since rethought my position because of the events that have transpired in the past few days.

While sports help to shape and develop lives of those who watch and participate in them, this recent tragedy has once again helped to re-establish that sports are just sports.

The old saying, “It’s just a game,” really rang true this last week.

I found it hard to tune in to ESPN or CNN SI without a degree of disgust.

Sports just didn’t seem worth much on Sept. 11 and the days that followed.

Coaches around the country and

locally made little noise about the decision to cancel many of this week’s major sporting events.

I’ve had several people ask me whether I thought the games should go on or not, but I don’t think it really matters.

Sports are fun. They exist because we live in a free country. I get to write every week in a free newspaper about sports because of that freedom.

Whether or not we cancel a weekend of races and games makes little difference in the overall appreciation of sports.

Sure, it would have been great to watch sports this weekend, but how much did it really affect us?

If you were like me, life went on without a hitch without sports.

I admit it, Friday I got to watch a talented Marion football team mop up on Council Grove, which did satisfy my football needs for the night.

And I did enjoy the sound beating Tabor gave Bethel on Saturday.

But I looked at sports differently those nights.

It was an honor, not an obligation, to attend the games-like someone had gone to a great expense to make viewing the games possible.

Staring at the American flag Friday night during the national anthem, I remembered all of the times I had taken it and our country’s freedoms for


The conclusion of the anthem was followed by silence, as if everybody had paid their respects to those affected by this tragedy.

I looked around me and noticed tears in people’s eyes.

And that’s when it hit.

Sports are not crucial for life. But they are important because they make up what helps to define our lives.

Sports are a liberty we can freely enjoy and freely participate in because we live in a country that encourages freedom.

In response to those who discourage freedom, I say, “Free people are strong people.”

And while this tragedy has been devastating, we will again enjoy those things that help define us as a free nation-sports included.

Only now, can we fully appreciate those things we have taken for granted, thanks to those who have tried to take them away from us.

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