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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Taking a break

Writing a sports column hardly seems important right now'but you already know that.  




You don't need me, ESPN or anyone else to rationalize just why Barry Bonds takes a backseat to tragedy. It is not only obvious, but also insulting, as if to suggest that your first thought upon seeing a commercial jet crash into the World Trade Center was, 'Geez, that would really suck if they canceled baseball games because of this whole plane thing.'  




Just in case some of you do need all of this explained to you, don't worry; there are about 746,929 stories putting sports in perspective in the aftermath of Tuesday's events. And if not that, you can surely find the whole 'sports are deeply threaded in to American culture, and as such, we must use them to rally the people of this great nation' speech. You might also hear the part about how the terrorists are out to disrupt our society, and by canceling sporting events we are letting them win. Or how we, the people, need sports to give us our state of normalcy back.  




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It doesn't really matter which form it takes: You can pile on layers of frosting, top them with cute little sprinkles, and give thanks for peanuts and Crackerjacks, but clich?? is still clich??. That doesn't make these columns right or wrong, just repetitive and unnecessary. Sound a little bit like the one you are reading? Don't worry, I know.  




So what are sports reporters and columnists'myself included'to do? After all, we all have deadlines to meet, editors to please, and readers to impress. Well, how about nothing? 




I think it would have been great to see ESPN report this morning that all events for today were postponed and that SportsCenter would be back when it had new information to report. Then the screen would just go black.  




I also would have loved to leave this column blank this week, but alas, that would most likely have been the end of my very young enterprise into the world of sports writing.  




And since when should we care what the infinite wisdom of Peter Gammons, or the staff of Baseball Tonight, or John Clayton deems to be an appropriate amount of time? I thought these games were played by the players? Let's see what they think: 




'Thousands of lives have been lost,' Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 'I think everybody is focused on that and not something as unimportant as a few September baseball games.' 




'Baseball is very insignificant right now,' Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Dan Plesac told the Toronto Star. 'Whether we play is the furthest thing from my mind. When you see people who don't know if their family is alive or dead, when you see what happened, you can't think of baseball.' 




'The country is in mourning, and we are the country's entertainment,' Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 'I don't know if the country wants to be entertained right now.' 




And the list goes on. It certainly does not sound like these guys were on their way out to the cage for a couple of rounds of batting practice. If the athletes are in no hurry to play, why should we be? 




One website I find particularly entertaining, , has taken the lead and simply discontinued its operations. No columns, no analysis, just a black screen with a few words explaining that it will be back when baseball is back.  




See you then.  

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