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What happens when Sports meets Reality?

Yes, Down The Line Sports Entertainment is a sports and entertainment blog that does not cover civic issues, however there comes a point where sports reality, reality, and the civic issues intertwine.

Sports reality is very important in many ways especially as devoted fans who will do anything and everything to will our teams on to victory. Sports is the MOST real thing on television besides the news. One might argue that the news is skewed and actually not real. But,

  • Imagine how the people of Chicago will react when the Cubs win a World Series?
  • Think of the feelings that you experience when you have a bet on the Kentucky Derby.
  • Is there anything more exciting than a buzzer beater?

Sports leaves each of us with a feeling that can’t be described. It leaves us with a memory that will always be tangible. You will remember where you were you seen Buster Douglas knock down Mike Tyson. You will remember being amazed as David Tyree made a catch using his helmet in the Super Bowl. You will remember the smell of the cold wind blowing in your face as you run in a marathon.

That is reality! You are experiencing it right? Those are priceless memories that can’t be taken away from you, right?

But, is that the same feeling you have when your first child is born, the regret of not paying a bill on time because you were laid off, or being a witness of a loved one struggling to hold on to their life.

Aren’t those same tangible, realistic feelings?

Below is a chart that compares and contrasts both sports reality, reality, and civic issues.

Slide1

What happens when sports realities and reality happen at the same time to affect civic issues?

With that, I take you to Baltimore, Maryland where sports is at the center of reality. For those of you who do not know, Baltimore is the epicenter of protests and riots because of the handling of the death of Freddie Gray as he was being arrested. Since his death, the community and police have banded together to seek peace and find the truth. That is not being shown on television though. We are seeing looting, disrespect for authorities, burning of buildings, and a whole lot of destruction.

Yes, Freddie Gray died, but what does this have to do with sports and reality?

Because of protests, the Baltimore Orioles have not been able to play their home games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards because the team and Major League Baseball want to protect fans, players, employees, and umpires from potential harm.

The team has decided to play a game on Wednesday, April 29, in front of an empty stadium. The team was also scheduled to host the Tampa Rays this weekend, but instead they will travel to Tampa and act as the home team.

How are sports reality, reality, and civic issues being used in this one example? Well,

  1. Hearing the cheering of the hometown team will not be a memory someone will gain this weekend.
  2. Ticket holders who made plans for Monday and Tuesday’s games may not be able to attend the games on Thursday.
  3. On Wednesday, the team will not have fans cheering for them. Therefore losing home field advantage.
  4. Employees of Oriole Park at Camden Yards who make close to minimum wage will miss out on three days pay, as they will not be traveling to Tampa. I would think the team would pay them because this is not the employee’s fault.
  5. Because there are no games being played either in public or in Tampa, the team will lose out on revenues that are generated by ticket sales, parking, concessions, and other revenue streams. Someone will have to pay for what the team has lost. Expect consumers to pay higher prices until the team recuperates its loses.

To the peaceful protestors of Baltimore, please know that people around the world and I see what is going. We respect you and encourage you to continue to seek the truth.

To the police and community leaders of Baltimore, please continue to share peace in a city that is desperate. Show shines of sympathy and empathy because people need it.

For the looters and destructors, hell terrorists, please start to think. Step outside of your body and look at what is going on. If you do that you will see:

  1. One of America’s greatest cities being destroyed. Believe it or not, you will have to pay for those damages. Actually, the entire city and state will have to pay for your crimes.
  2. People who have negative views of blacks will (in the their mind) be justified.
  3. That all of this damage will have been for nothing. I am sorry to say that riots will not bring Freddie Gray back. No matter how many buildings are set on fire, Orioles games cancelled, or how much disrespect is shown to the police will bring this young man back. I’m sorry, that is reality.

Consider the phrase, “One bad apple spoils the bunch.” That bunch is inedible.

I hope that the Orioles are not punished for acts they did not commit.

Sidebar. Yes, this is a national mess that only local authorities have control over. Stick to local government. Let’s not make this more political that what it already.

Yes, sports reality is a “legal” high that can never be matched, but please notice the real issues surrounding you. There are parts of this country that are still fighting for voting rights and equality rights amongst other things. Seek to find issues that may interest you and use your voice.

After, remember that events that have already occurred cannot be prevented after the fact. If you want to see change get out in your community, actually speak to your neighbor, and network with people who are a different demographic than you. Be the person you want to see as a leader of your neighborhood.

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Photo by: Patrick Semansky—AP

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