When life matters more than sportPublished 10:36am Friday, November 9, 2012
After looking at the landscape of sports in recent weeks, something has stuck out to me — sport takes a backseat to life.
This may or may not shock some of you, but lately it has been true.
Stories, such as the one of Indianapolis Colts’ Head Coach Chuck Pagano and his battle with leukemia, have been pushed to the front of the sport section as scores, trades and trash talk end up on the back page.
Pagano left the team to undergo chemotherapy and has not been able to coach his team since early this season. This past weekend, he made a visit to his players after a win over the Miami Dolphins.
In support, the players, including rookie sensation Andrew Luck, shaved their heads. The team has also developed the slogan of being ‘Chuckstrong’.
Now, more than ever, athletes are putting aside the game for family matters. Funerals, illnesses and accidents have all stopped professionals from participating.
Jason Marquis, who’s stint with the Twins was short-lived, did not start the season with the team because of an accident to his daughter.
My life had also taken a break from sports in the past month as my wife and I welcomed a new addition to our family.
This was the same factor that nearly kept Chicago defensive back Charles Tillman from playing in Sunday evening’s premiere match up against the Houston Texans as his wife could go into labor at anytime. Tillman stated that he was not going to play in the game if his wife went into labor.
The days of seeing athletes play through emotional pain maybe out the door with leather helmets and plain white goalie masks.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg even learned a lesson on the importance of sport as he was unwilling to cancel the New York City Marathon in light of Superstorm Sandy. After public outcry, Bloomberg retracted his statement and called off the marathon.
Congrats Mr. Bloomberg on making the right call — all be it, a little late.
Will we ever see a superstar like a Michael Jordan or Brett Favre play through struggles?
In my opinion, everyone works out their emotional problems in different ways. I won’t criticize a player taking the field after a personal tragedy, just as I won’t get angry if they miss a game because of one.