Sports are not life and death, no matter how devoted we are to our teams. They are a diversion.One that can lift us up and even help us heal. Something that provides us some fun. But nothing more.
For three hours a day (four if the Yankees and Red Sox are playing each other), we are taken on a ride as we watch our teams compete. And for seven months a year we are taken on a journey as they vie for a championship. When our teams win, we get a few hours, or maybe days, of joy. When teams win in thrilling fashion or players do something we have never or rarely seen, we are thrilled. And when they lose, there is disappointment.
But in the end life goes on and there are always more important things we need to attend to.
It's a lesson that we were reminded of in the aftermath of 9-11 and brilliantly captured in the HBO documentary "Nine Innings From Ground Zero."
A week ago Friday, life's reality came crashing through my door as I was laid off from my job of four years at The Hartford Courant, the result of Tribune Co. emerging from bankruptcy and its decision to mass produce its national pages (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, National news, etc.) in Chicago for the entire chain. Six of us lost our jobs that day -- all on the copy/page design desk.
For me it was devastating. All I had ever wanted to do since I was junior in high school was work in the sports department of newspapers. And for about 15 years, I did, taking a wild ride along the way.
But now I'm left with a myriad of questions. Where do I go from here? How am I going to provide for my family? What do I want to do next? What's the next step? What now?
In the nine days since my layoff, I still don't have the answers, but I'm confident I'll land on my feet, doing something even better -- and more lucrative -- than what I had been doing at the Courant. I will emerge stronger from all this.
But as I figure all this out and search for the next step in my career, I'm looking to the Yankees to provide me a respite for three (or four) hours a day. Give me some thrills, some drama. Give me something I haven't ever seen before (a quality start from Javier Vazquez, for example).
I don't need them to win it all -- though that would be nice. I just need them to take me on a ride, help me smile from time to time as I send out resumes and cover letters.
Mostly, I just want them to give me plenty to write about as I continue to share my thoughts and have fun doing this blog with my friend Dave.
I'll be back to my normal programming tomorrow and will kick into full gear by the time the Yanks and Sox play next weekend.
In the meantime, I mostly want to thank you for your patience.