Tragedy will strike.
When it does, it's inevitable that many will say that the tragic event "really puts sports into perspective" and there will be even more that will nod in agreement, take a deep breath, maybe even log off Twitter for some personal reflection instead of simply putting stars next to others, followed by making a call to a sports radio station to eviscerate a head coach. Perspective should last longer than Wayne Gretzky's point streak of 51 consecutive games and UCLA's stretch of seven straight national titles, let alone the mere 30 seconds it took Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to get around the track to win the pole at Atlanta last weekend. Unfortunately, the tire change perspective is what often prevails.
It's perspective that's needed to appreciate a "please" and "thank you." It's perspective that's needed to remember to use those words yourself or to understand that the right thing to do is to offer your seat to a pregnant woman on the subway and to hold the door for a dad pushing a stroller out of the store. Sports should offer that perspective, but only if you actually understand what sports are meant to accomplish in the first place.
The morning of the 2003 NBA Draft, Commissioner David Stern had breakfast in a conference room down the hall from his office with the league's college summer interns. Hours before he'd shake hands with LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Melo, Mike Sweetney, Reece Gaines, Darko and Zarko Cabarkapa, he told us that the NBA sells entertainment. It's all entertainment. So allow yourself to be entertained. Celebrate a win, even hang your head after a loss for a few minutes, break down the final drive and question the play calling, but then let it go. Trust me, the stress isn't worth it. I'm all for the passion. I've built a career on my passion for sports, but I can't imagine living life living and dying with every corner kick, snap or slider. The pure hate I sense in comment sections across the country every day makes me think that that bubble is bigger than I originally thought, which is disturbing and disappointing. We were all kids once and thought there could be nothing worse than Sid Bream sliding safely into home to beat the Pirates in the '92 NLCS or Joe Carter walking-off on the Phillies to win the '93 World Series, but many of us are adults now and it's time to get some perspective on what these games actually mean.
So, this NFL season, while you're thinking you have nothing to look forward to on Sunday since your Jets are 2-7 (tops) by the Week 10 bye, think about all those times that you only 'favorited' the tweets of "this really puts sports into perspective" and gain some of your own.
A career in sports has given me the opportunity to travel the country to do play-by-play for games in Reading, PA to Olean, NY and report from Super Bowls, Final Fours, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cups. In order to make the most of those experiences, I enjoy getting to taste the local flavors, so I'll end each post with a food recommendation and please pass yours along to me as well.
City: San Francisco
Event: 2012 World Series
Restaurant: Dottie's True Blue Cafe (6th & Stevenson)
Plate: The Open Road
2 eggs (over easy), home fries (well done -- always order home fries 'well done'), mild italian sausage, 2 whole wheat buttermilk pancakes (spiced with ginger & cinnamon), coffee, pineapple juice -- topped with a blanket and a pillow.
Breakdown: There's a line out the door no matter what time you get there, so be prepared and just know that it's worth the wait. The pancakes are the specialty (only rivaled by Pamela's in Pittsburgh and Mother's in Portland) and while I've made my own with cinnamon, the added ginger allows both spices to shine through. A few forkfuls of pancake and sausage dripping in yolk was enough to fill me up, but I battled until the plate was clean. The home fries were crispy and well seasoned (no extra salt & pepper needed), and the sausage had really nice herb flavors. The girl sitting at the counter next to me left half of her french toast and I was so very tempted to snag a piece when she left, but I restrained myself. I walked out of Dottie's around 11 a.m. and didn't eat until 7 p.m. and even then, it was just because I thought I should eat, not because I was hungry.