There’s no crying in baseball, allegedly…
When’s the last time something in sports touched you? I’m not talking about making you scream or unleash an end zone dance after a touchdown. Nor am I talking about a boneheaded throw by the quarterback that made you want to kick in your TV screen you we so pissed.
I’m talking about where you were so moved it was impossible to contain your emotions.
People were weeping in the streets after New Orleans won the Super Bowl. It was the joy factor. There’s something incredibly emotional about seeing players overcome defeat or injury. In the case of New Orleans, many tied the destruction of the city to the Super Bowl win. Ditto for Japan’s first-even win recently over the US Women’s team in the World Cup.
No crying in baseball?
When you learned of Paul Splittorff’s death, how did you feel? How about Met’s star Gary Carter’s brain cancer. Did it remind you of Dick Howser or Dan Quisenberry?
I was in a state of disbelief when I heard of the passing of the Royals Darrell Porter.
And just last week we saw a young boy named Dylan openly weep when he received a baseball from Boston Red Sox player Josh Beckett. It was the real life version of that famous MEAN Joe Greene Coke towel commercial.
Were you not moved when you saw the video of a kid named Ian in Arizona catch a ball and then give it to another young boy named Nicholas who was upset? How about father who died trying to catch a ball for his son?
Any of that impact you?
How about Colts footballer Jeff Saturday embracing Patriots owner Robert Kraft as he spoke of the passing of Kraft’s wife Myra during the lockout labor negotiations?
Did you weep the first time you saw Brian’s Song?
Has sports ever touched your soul?
I was a classmate of KU assistant coach Neil Dougherty. Neil coached during the Roy Williams era and I saw him a few years back at a high school reunion. Wow, he looked great! Other than a few facial lines and his Afro being gone, he looked pretty much like he did back in high school. I was trying to suck in my gut and reposition my man boobs so they’d be less obvious.
Neil was working a basketball training camp in Indianapolis. Went out for his morning jog. And just died on the side of the road. His unclaimed, unidentified body lay in a morgue for days.
And while all the quotes were about what a great family man he was, no one from his family had even reported him missing.
His co workers and supervisors contacted the police and he was finally identified. He was so young and apparently healthy to have died.
Neil’s funeral was held in his home town of Leavenworth. It was a who’s who of KU basketball with Roy Williams, Danny Manning, Drew Gooden, Kirk Hinrich, Scott Pollard, and many others present.
Tears were shed over this premature death.
No crying? I’d argue that sports is a way for us to comfortably release our emotions. Emotions we often feel compelled to suppress. And when I think of Neil, Darrel’, Reggie White, Al Cowens, Dan, Dick, and so many others I’d prefer someone to hand me a tissue, not a brew.
Think of the memories, moments, or people that have moved you and impacted your love of sports?