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The Mesa Press

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The independent student news site of San Diego Mesa College.

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The Mesa Press

The Mesa Press

Sports help people in time of crisis

Boston Bruins fans Yvonne and Jake Patterson cheer at the start of an NHL game between the Bruins and the Buffalo Sabers at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, Wednesday, April 17, 2013. (Christopher Evans/Boston Herald/MCT)

The 117th running of the Boston Marathon was supposed to highlight the achievements of the runners who poured their hearts out into their training as well as completing a goal of finishing 26.2 miles that some in this world would see as impossible. Unfortunately, the event became a national headline for all the wrong reasons.

About four hours after the race began; two explosions went off at the finish line. They were located about 50 yards apart and were set off about 12 seconds apart.

Three fatalities and over 170 injured were the result of this tragic event.

Sports are often perceived as a possible place for an act of terror because of the amount of people in one place and the amount of damage one can do when given the chance. An event like the Boston Marathon is different than that of a sport that plays in an arena or stadium.

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The marathon is a public place where seemingly anyone can walk up at any point of the route because of how big it is, security can only do so much. But what happens now?

America has endured serious tragedies that dominate the media’s attention and leaves citizens across the country in disbelief that it has happened on American soil. One thing many people turn to is sports.

Sports can offer a getaway from that 9-5 job, it can be stress relieving from that final exam as well as being the centerpiece of a social gathering.

Although, no one ever forgets the tragic events that have occurred throughout history, many can associate a sporting event with a tragedy like adding a face to a name.

With the Boston Marathon being the most recent, it has already seen its fair share of acknowledgement from the sports community even from unlikely sources. A popular tradition at Boston Red Sox games involves the playing of Neil Diamond’s hit song, “Sweet Caroline.” Several Major League Baseball stadiums across the country showed tribute to their Boston brethren by playing the song at their baseball games. Even the Red Sox’s rival, the New York Yankees, played the song as a dedication to the event and the city of Boston.

Some baseball players wore black arm bands and an outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, Ben Revere, taped the message, “Pray for Boston” to his glove.

There have been other events throughout history where sports have been the temporary distraction to a much larger ordeal.

The terrorist attacks on 9/11 in New York City are widely considered as the worst in the history of the United States. The whole country watched in disbelief as two skyscrapers fell to the ground leaving many dead and millions shocked about the magnitude of what happened.

Sports, as well as basically everything, were shut off for a few weeks.  When the baseball season returned to somewhat normalcy, the New York Yankees found their way into the World Series. New Yorkers rallied around the team and were provided a distraction that although only lasting for seven days, it was much needed.

The Yankees ended up losing the series but it seemed as if New York was going to rebound from the attacks as it marked the beginning of the rebuilding and recovering process.

There have been other tragic events where sports have provided a distraction that was not of the terrorist variety.

The 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey game pitted the young college kids that made up Team USA against the heavily favored Russians in the semifinals of the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY.  The two countries were at odds during the Cold War and this game became a major event.

The Americans pulled off the shocking upset and then later won the gold medal against all odds. This sporting event is widely considered the greatest sporting event in US history.

Watching sporting events while going through a tragic ordeal can be a good way to get one’s mind off the nature of the tragedy. Although no one will ever forget what has happened throughout the years in our country, the United States will keep on keeping on and will grow stronger with each setback that the country endures.

When asked the iconic words by 1980’s Team USA hockey coach Herb Brooks, “Who do you play for?”  The response of the country will be, “the United States of America.”


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About the Contributor
Curtis Manlapig
Curtis Manlapig, Editor-in-Chief
This is Curtis Manlapig's first semester as Editor-in-Chief and third semester on staff of The Mesa Press. He began as Headline editor/ Staff writer and worked his way up to Sports Editor and now to Editor-in-Chief. Manlapig won a first place award in the Copy Editing competition at the 2012 Fall Southern California JACC journalism conference as well as a second place finish in Copy Editing at the State JACC conference. He is also a huge fan of the Chargers and Padres and writes his own blog about sports here in San Diego at . He is active in the community and enjoys playing adult dodgeball. Manlapig will head North and will enroll at Sacramento State for the Fall of 2013 where he hopes to further his journalism career. You can email him at    
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