First off, we send our love and thoughts and prayers to all affected by the events of the past few days (I say “days” knowing that other states have been reeling from these terrible storms). Knowing that we have team members with close ties to Oklahoma, I cannot begin to imagine how difficult this has been, and as such, I find it hard to post about anything cheerfully sporty under the circumstances. But to paraphrase the great Fred Rogers, when terrible things happen, you look for the helpers. Here’s a few worth mentioning today: Continue reading
The Royals announced on Wednesday that former radio broadcaster Fred White died of complications from melanoma. This came just 24 hours after White announced that he’d be retiring from his post-broadcasting role with the team, which was to help build up and maintain the vast Royals Radio Network.
I grew up with two parents and three older brothers, so it’s not like I was lacking for childhood presences. But Fred White, along with Denny Mathews, were a profound staple of my childhood summers. Continue reading
Like Lady Bee, I’m still reeling from watching my beloved hockey team, the Washington Capitals, crash and burn on Monday night. It’s so bad, that I can’t even watch hockey. I know, it’s really bad. Since I’m used to this annual heartbreak, I can’t understand why, this year, I’m so depressed about it.
It’s not like the Caps don’t do this to me every single year. This year I was so indifferent about hockey. I was mad about the lockout, but as a season ticket holder, I was excited to get back to Verizon Center and spend time with my hockey family. That was what I looked forward to: happy hours, victory beers, inside hockey jokes, good times with friends and making fun of our players – not so much the hockey.
I wanted to write something last night. But I couldn’t. Like many of you, I went through a series of emotions ranging from heartbreak to anger to numbness. Instead, I waited until my kids were in bed, sobbed over the footage on CBC, and then listened to Vin Scully because baseball seemed like the only thing that made sense at that moment. Sports helping us heal: yes, we’ve been here before.
I knew one person who participated in Monday’s Boston Marathon. Some of us with even stronger ties to the city were deeply upset and concerned about family members down there. The person I know is OK. A lot of people are not.
This wasn’t the post about Boston I wanted to write. You see, I had a chance to visit Boston for the very first time last month, thanks to a work-related conference. The city left a lasting impression with me. My disdain for the Red Sox may be well documented here, but in the two nights I stayed in Boston in a quaint hotel on Newbury Street, not far from where Monday’s tragedy took place, I became a huge fan. I love the people, its passion for its sports teams, every grungy alley and gorgeous brownstone. I snagged a terrific seat for the Celtics game that week when the Raptors were in town. 10 rows from courtside. Unbelievable. I have a pile of pictures I’ve been meaning to share on this site, of the game, of Kevin Garnett’s massive frame, of Fenway and the photo of Old Hoss Radbourne I found at this great sports bar on Boylston Street. But life happened, and now this.
I’m not from Massachusetts, not a Red Sox fan, not even American, so I feel a bit like I’m talking out of my ass. But I am a runner, and I am friends with some wonderful Americans (including these Ladies… ), so Monday’s events nevertheless left me shaken and heartbroken. I never once felt uneasy walking through Boston’s downtown core. Maybe it was the friendliness of its people or how it spoke to my Irish heritage, but the city really felt like home. The morning I arrived I took the wrong Green Line train and got lost, but I never once felt uncomfortable. I walked by Copley Square after the basketball game completely confident that nothing bad would happen to me, which I’m sure was the same feeling those runners and spectators and volunteers had yesterday.
So I promise that sometime soon, I will post those pictures. We need to remember why Boston is such a damn fine town, and how it will continue to be. And I will come back to Copley Square, and I’ll bring my kids. And I will continue to run, just like so many did yesterday and today in solidarity. And I will try not to be so angry about what happened, because in a time of need a city wrapped its caring arms around frightened and wounded strangers. You can’t stay angry when there is love.
First of all, many thanks to my friends (including Games Mistress and various members of Red Sox Nation) for pulling me out of my Pinstriped Spiral of Gloom last Friday morning after receiving word that Mariano Rivera suffered a season-and-possibly-career-ending torn ACL last Thursday while shagging fly balls in Kansas City. Honestly, there is nothing like a devastating injury to a beloved future Hall of Famer to remind you who your truest friends in baseball are. Red Sox fans and I may be bitter frenemies when wins are on the line, but when something like this happens, we all feel for the biggest fans of the affected team and athlete. So thanks you guys – you are the best!
And what a difference a day made. It wasn’t long until Rivera’s competitive nature bounced back as he declared to reporters “I’m coming back. Write it down in big letters. I’m not going out like this.” So it won’t be long until you can go back to hating my kind again, Red Sox Nation (know that I say this with love). It’s been reported that three doctors at two hospitals examined his knee today, so hopefully surgery and rehab go smoothly enough to get him back on the mound in 2013. Until then, it’s the Soriano-Robertson Show from here on out. Continue reading
I admit that until last week, when the news broke about her terrible accident, I didn’t know very much about freestyle skier Sarah Burke. I deeply regret this, because if anyone deserved a You Go Girl post from this site, it was this fine Canadian: multiple Winter X Games gold medalist, first woman to land a 1080 in competition, awesomely gutsy athlete. Dig deeper, and you will discover that Sarah had an amazing commitment to the development of her sport, from coaching teenage girls in her home province of British Columbia to successfully lobbying to get the halfpipe included in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Sadly, she’ll never have the chance to ski that course, but she has left behind an incredible legacy. I’m not just talking about the Winter Games – I’m also referring to the fact that as per her wishes, her organs and tissues were donated so that others may have a second chance to live life as fully as Sarah did.
Here’s a glimpse of Sarah’s life work. You’ll never see a nicer tribute!
By the way, if you wish to contribute to the fund set up to assist Sarah’s family with her medical bill, you can do so here.