Our VoiceHealth & Environment

SPORTS: United through Disaster

Guest Blogger • Sep 12, 2008

The world of sports has found itself between a rock and a hard place. With the landfall of Hurricane Ike, expected to be this weekend, numerous high school, college, and professional sports teams have been forced to postpone, cancel or relocate their games.

At least five college football games have been forced to make adjustments to their plans. Three high school football games have been affected by the hurricane, with one canceling the game altogether. And the three game series that the Houston Astros had been scheduled to play against the Chicago Cubs is threatening to be postponed. This is a terrible thing for both teams, since they’re both in the hunt for October baseball. The management for both the Cubs and the Astros has been discussing playing the games in an alternate location, but thus far, neither side has been willing to compromise on selecting one

Last month Hurricane Gustav hit Louisiana so badly that Louisiana State University (LSU) was forced to postpone their football game against the Troy Trojans until November.

Of course the sporting world wasn’t the only one affected by the presence of these powerful forces of Mother Nature. The Republican National Convention was even forced to cancel some of its festivities due to concerns over Hurricane Gustav. The strange part is what the Republicans were saying. Presidential candidate John McCain said that it was a time to “take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats.”

This incited a lot of anger from many people on the left, due to the fact McCain explicitly stated that we needed to be Americans (not simply Republicans) for one specific moment due to the presence of the hurricane. But I think he comment is interesting to think about.

We recently just passed the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, in which people from around the nation mourned. When people discuss September 11th, they often reflect on the time immediately after the attacks and the feeling of a sort of national unity at that moment.

The interesting part about all this is that it seems people only feel that they need to be united during times of crisis. When your life isn’t threatened by impending doom we’re ok with arguing over arbitrary things such as home-field advantage, party affiliation or personal preferences. But when doom lurks, we all the sudden remember that we’re all fellow human beings that need to be equally treated and respected.

This is something that I hope we can all remember in the wake of the anniversary of September 11th, Hurricanes Gustav, Katrina, and soon to be Ike. Because if we don’t remember to look at each in this manner, the brief moments of unity that we may have in the wake of natural and human disaster will be for nothing.

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