OK, I admit it. I can get wrapped up in sports. After all, my occupation of choice is SPORTS INFORMATION.
Yet, I can get caught up into the mix just like any regular fan as well. Right now, there are two things really vying for my attention as a sports aficionado: 1. All the offseason action as MLB teams gear up for Spring Training (pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 18 for most of the teams-YAY!!!); and 2. The football coaching search at the University of Tennessee (which is bizarre to say the least).
I am a hard-core baseball fan in large part due to the fact that it's the most awesomest sport IN THE WORLD. (Yes, I think I just made up a word there.) But a big reason I follow baseball so much closer than any other sport is that the MLB season conflicts the least with more work schedule.
Oh yeah, and the fact that baseball is loaded down with statistics out the wazoo, and by nature, most SIDs are stats geeks (of which I the chief of these - to paraphrase the Apostle Paul), enhances my love the the grand ol' game.
So, I get easily wrapped up and lost in baseball season.
I love all the "Hot Stove" action of the offseason, almost as much as I do the games. I said almost.
(SIDE NOTE: Speaking of "Hot Stove" action, why is it that the two teams (Yankees and Cubs) which have seemingly the deepest pockets in their respectively leagues appear to be so inactive this offseason? I know the Cubs are going through an ownership change, but how about making a big splash in the first year with the Ricketts family? And the Yankees? Don't they have $250 million burning a hole in their pockets? But I digress.)
The Tennessee coaching situation is amazing to watch. The way Lane Kiffin left, the reaction from the media and Tennessee fans, how the Vols are having problems getting a new coach on board; a Hollywood screenwriter couldn't make this stuff up. I wish my comrades in the Tennessee SID office tons of luck, patience and serenity in dealing with all this.
Yet, despite all the compelling drama following all the MLB "Hot Stove" action and the Tennessee coaching search, it all is trivial in the grand scheme of things.
For example, when you look at the devastation from the earthquake in Haiti, does it really matter who is going to be playing left field for the Yankees or who will lead the Volunteers through the 'T' in Neyland Stadium in 2010?
Seeing news reports from Haiti, I'm just dumbfounded at how everything, and I mean everything, was stripped away from these people. Tens of thousands are dead, that and more are left without food, water, a bed, a roof over their head, phone, radio, and everything but the clothes on their back.
The saddest and scariest part of what is happening in Haiti is the fact that the people don't know when, how or if help is coming. They have no way to communicate with the rest of the world.
Haiti puts things in perspective.
So does a third sports story I'm following, the death of University of Southern Indiana senior Jeron Lewis during a game against Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Ky., Thursday.
Although I was at my home when this happened, I felt I had a front-row seat when Lewis was injured and ultimately passed. I was working on my laptop and had my Twitter account up when a sportscaster from Evansville, Ind., I follow began tweeting about Lewis falling and then being taken out of the arena on a stretcher.
According to all accounts (see the story in the Courier Press), Lewis got his feet tangled, fell and hit his head on the court at around 9:05 p.m. local time. He passed away at the hospital just 47 minutes later.
While an autopsy is forthcoming, it appears that Lewis' death is an unfortunate and terrible accident.
By the way, Southern Indiana won the game 74-69 over its fellow NCAA Division II rival, but that really does not seem important now to the Eagles. And to be honest, I didn't know the score of the game until after I read the full story about Lewis for the umpteenth time.
I realize this has been a rambling post, and I thank you for making it this far. But my point is this: life is short and we never know what is going to happen next, so make the most of right now.
The past is gone and there nothing you can do to change it. The future is still a ways off and will come when it gets here. All we have is the present. Please treat it and cherish it for the gift that it truly is.