Sunshine on the Sports Page (LATC April 2016)
One morning a while ago I sat down with my morning coffee to read the paper. List of headlines included
- Tech job engine cooling off?
- 8 Years in the NFL… then the Downward Spiral
- Foster child’s death probed.
- Trump insults walk fine line
- Officers on Paris terror raid met with gunfire
- Thousands flee Texas flooding
- Toxic water worries in Vermont, N.Y.
- Undercover sting entraps sex-traffickers
- Republican Senators stonewall Supreme Court hearings
- Syrian forces advance on Palmyra
- Climate change accelerating- hottest February on record
- City, 49ers in dispute over rent
- Ex-coach faces 10 felony accounts for sex abuse of students
- Lower drug prices stalled
- Toy guns spark visit from police
What a world! No wonder it takes at least two cups of coffee to wade through the variety of bad news, bad outcomes, and bad behavior!
Then I got to the sports page – “CIF Girls basketball: Pinewood socks nation’s No. 1 team.” Wait – is that our local private school, the primly painted white- with- green- trim establishment that has been steadily expanding along Fremont Ave. next to Foothill Blvd.? I read more: “Pinewood pulled an upset for the ages…,rallying from a 10-point deficit to beat St. Mary’s, the no.1-ranked team in the country…. ‘We had nothing to lose…, Pinewood’s Akayla Hackson said. “So we just went for it.’…. When the buzzer sounded, Pinewood, the tiny Division V school from Los Altos Hills, had knocked off the top-ranked team.”
What fun! Everyone loves David when he has knocked off Goliath (before he got entangled with That Woman.) And when David (or in this case, Davida) is a Local Girl, that makes the story even better.
Further along, another Cinderella -type story made the Sports mid-section: “Blue Raiders bag biggest upset in years.” In the first round of NCAA March Madness, “the No. 15-seeded Blue Raiders from Middle Tennessee State ended the title hopes of second-seeded [Michigan State] Spartans in a 90-81 first-round victory that sent brackets around the country into trash cans. ‘I’ll be honest with you, in my wildest dreams I didn’t think they’d hit some of the shots they hit,’ Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.”
Wildest dreams coming true! Maybe a hint of miracles! We love that too! I’m not a big follower of basketball, or any other sport, but I love the story lines, and the way every victory can be made to seem like a moral triumph, whether of will over skill, or vice versa. So much easier to digest over breakfast than the intractable problems of the Real World.
So you go, Pinewood girls! Keep it up, Middle Tennessee State! No matter how dark the tales of wars, natural disasters, and human frailty which fill the world, national, and local news, there’s almost always sunshine in the sports section.
I watch no TV except sports and I think you’ve explained why!
Depends on how invested you are in the player or team you’re reading about. If you’re a die-hard fan it can be tragedy or exaltation just as much as a news story. Just think of the St Mary’s fans reading that article with their #1 ranking in jeopardy.