The old Chinese curse says, "May you
live in interesting times." That doesn't really sound like a
curse, who doesn't like interesting stuff, but most of us would
really be happy with a nice quiet life where nothing was ever turned
A large majority of people must be
living under that Chinese curse, judging by the events in Boston the
The Boston Marathon has been run many
years and is really, at its core, nothing more than a foot race. At
26.2 miles, a really long foot race, but still just a foot race.
Now, of course, it will become a symbol
of all that is wrong with the world. Whether it turns out this was a
coordinated attack by some foreign group or something that came
together here on our shores, people will point to it as the moment
the innocence of sports events died.
Major sports events have, so far, often
been spared the rage of somebody who's ticked off because the world
doesn't operate exactly as they wish. We've had 47 Superbowls,
more than a hundred World Series, dozens of NBA championships and
untold NASCAR races with more than 100,000 in attendance, but nothing
has been done at any of them.
I'm sure there have been threats
made, but the people in charge of such events don't like to
publicize such things. There might have even been thwarted attempts,
but once again, they don't like to mention such things.
Worldwide there have been such attacks,
mainly at soccer games, but here in America, we go to games and never
give the first thought to being attacked, though we do gripe when
we're searched at the entrance.
Will that change now? Will it take so
long to search everybody coming in that a 1 p.m. game won't start
until 2:30? Will every NASCAR wreck immediately be attributed to a
Attacking at sporting event is not a
new concept. As long ago as the mid 1970s, an attack on the Superbowl
was depicted in a novel called "Black Sunday," which was later
turned into a movie. Some pointless trivia: "Black Sunday" was
written by Thomas Harris would later create Hannibal Lecter.
The hostage taking and murders at the
1972 Olympics ranks as one of the worst examples of sport events
marred by the world around us.
But while there have been attacks at
the Olympics, including in Atlanta in 1996, nobody has ever
interrupted a Peyton Manning pass or Michael Jordan dunk despite
Hollywood's blue prints, as I'm sure "Black Sunday" isn't
the only movie to ever depict an attack on a sporting event.
Despite all that goes on in sports (drug use, spousal abuse, cheating and on and on) we tend to consider
it a world where there is some purity. The best man/woman wins and
all that. And even though it was almost always a foreign runner who
won the Boston Marathon, we like to think of it as a quintessential
I doubt much will change. People were
scared of flying for a couple of days after Sept. 11, but now the
skies are just as full as ever. Most people that have been in car
wrecks were driving the next day. It's the old "If you give into
the fear, you'll never get over it, so get out there!"
Which is why the London Marathon was
still ran a few days later and I'm sure the New York Marathon will
be ran whenever it's scheduled to run, not to mention a countless
number of marathons that don't get anywhere near the publicity the
Boston one does.
Schools and movie theaters get shot up,
people go crazy on Army bases, bombs go off, people die, we mourn and
yell for justice, then life goes on. There's something else waiting
out there, something that will shake our foundations and beliefs,
something that will have us questioning humanity's sanity.
Then it'll be over and life will go
back to normal until the next thing comes along.
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