Tuesday, May 3, 2011

tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of raymond k. hessel's life.

I already presented my own thoughts on bin Laden's death. Here, I try to tie them into sports. If it gets put up on the Alibi as it should, I'll edit to include that link.


Yesterday, the news was delivered that Osama bin Laden is dead. And while this might not be the most logical link with sports, it defies expectation to remember 9/11 and not have a memory of a sporting event.

When that day passed, a lot of people questioned whether irony was dead, whether we would live in a state of permanent seriousness, whether the little things would ever matter again. But, of course, they did matter again, and they mattered again very quickly. One of the things that we consistently do as humans is underestimate our ability to adapt to changes.

When then-President Bush threw out the first pitch for the New York Yankees, that was a cathartic moment for many people. It mattered that we were able to get back to something that, mere days before, commentators and newscasters had been discarding as trivial. The little things, as it turns out, are the ones that matter the most.

This was, of course, most famously said by Jon Stewart. "They said to get back to work." And today, we will, perhaps finally, perhaps ultimately, be able to do so.

In a nice parallel with the Yankee game, there will be sports on tomorrow. It will be, just like yesterday and the day before, just another ordinary day. But there will be something special in these sports, the ones that don't matter to so many people. These things especially seem to not matter to arty types of people, the people who read alternative newspapers, because sports is seen as a somewhat mainstream interest. Those things are both usually true.

But today, starting at 1:35 PM local time in Oakland, the Texas Rangers will play the Athletics. The National Anthem will be sung, and it's my guess that that rendition of the song will sound sweeter than it did yesterday, or the day before. It's my guess that'll be the case at most of the baseball games scheduled. And the basketball games. And any other games that are scheduled that escaped the national scope.

Because, in the end, it is these little things that matter. They remind us that, despite tragedy or triumph, life goes on the way it has before: slowly, sometimes good, sometimes bad, one day at a time.


It didn't go up yesterday (and yeah, I'm keeping the time frame in the piece, even thought it doesn't make sense reading it on Tuesday as thought it was supposed to be read on Monday, but that's the way it is) and I don't care.

But what I do care about is the fact that, 24 hours later, things seem a lot more clear. Mindy C left a great comment on my last entry, as she is wont to do. And, really, the sports things weren't as big as I thought they were going to be. And I think that's a good thing, because, unlike 10 years ago, we didn't need the catharsis. It was still a big deal, and it was a nice thing. But more than needing that, we processed things in a calm and rational way. There were great articles saying much the same things I said yesterday and one of those was from an athlete on Twitter!

Things are getting better.

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