I believe in the power of sports. More importantly, I believe in the power of sports to be a catalyst for and symbol of healing. Although sports are often considered entertainment, their presence can provides a glimmer of hope that allows us to overcome tragedy and resume our lives.
On September 11th 2001 the worst attack ever on American soil occurred. Following my outpouring of sadness, grief, and anger I didn’t know where to turn. However, professional sports took the first steps toward reuniting and rebuilding the country. Following a weekend of mourning and observance, the NFL and MLB decided to resume scheduled games. The transition that took place afterwards is something I will never forget. The outpouring of patriotism, through crowd members and players participating in the singing the national anthem and waving flags is an image of patriotism and perseverance. Thus, following 9/11 sports, for me and many other Americans, became a healing agent that allowed for us to begin to resume some semblance of normalcy after such a devastating and traumatic event.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, especially New Orleans as the powerful hurricane broke the levee, and the waters from Lake Pontchartrain drowned the city. The city was and still is in many parts devastated. However, on September 25th 2006 the Superdome, home to the New Orleans Saints, held the first sporting event in the city since the natural disaster. This event provided the city of New Orleans with a starting point to begin to attract people back to the devasted area. Moreover, a New Orleans Saints victory in that game gave the city of New Orleans, myself, and many others something to hope for and look forward to, it allowed me to see the ability of human beings to overcome tragedy.
Finally, in 2006 America was met with tragedy again when the largest shooting massacre in United States history took place at Virginia Tech where over 30 students were shot and killed by a lone gunman. The national tragedy shocked the country, and scarred myself and many other college students. However, a symbol of healing was presented September 1, 2007, when the V-Tech football team played its first game on national television. The football game publically displayed the healing process that had undergone at the campus and allowed myself and many others to see the University’s ability to overcome tragedy and bring about hope for tomorrow.
Thus, we must remember that although sports are a form of entertainment they have a very significant and important role in helping many of us to continue our lives and perservere at times when it is the most difficult to do so.
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