Sports is usually our escape. Our getaway. Our sanctuary.
Monday in Boston, it was our crime scene. Just after the four hour mark of the Boston Marathon, two bombs went off at the finish line, killing at least 3 people and injuring hundreds others.
The Bruins and Celtics both canceled their games, and the Red Sox were on their way out of town. In a season where there is often 3 Boston teams playing on any given night, there were none. And that was okay. Sports took a backseat to life in our neck of the world, as we tried to piece together what had happened hours before. What followed, however, is a reminder of why we love sports in the first place. The games are our comfort, their events a distraction. We hate other teams and players so we don’t hate our own, and we rally around one cause that brings us together so passionately.
Despite the hated rivalries across professional sports that Boston maintains, sometimes events and people transcend sports. Yesterday’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon is one such instance. Several teams, athletes and news outlets have taken to different forms of media to express their sympathy and prayers to the city of Boston and all those affected by it’s rivalries. Below is a montage of just some of the outpouring of love and respect the sporting world has shown us in our time of need.
Probably the coolest, most touching gesture of them all: late Tuesday afternoon the Yankees tweeted “We stand united with Boston” with a picture
A touching display outside Yankee Stadium from typically hated rivals
The team later announced that they would play “Sweet Caroline,” a song that is a staple of Fenway Park at every game, after the third inning following a moment of silence before the game. Here’s video from the Yankees Network of the stadium during the song.
Yankees fans also came out to the ballpark in support of Boston
Scenes like this were not uncommon Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium
The acts of kindness didn’t go unnoticed
The Yankees weren’t the only ones showing their support though. Across the NBA, NHL, and MLB, Moments of Silence were observed before most games. Across baseball, the Marlins, Cubs, Reds, A’s, Indians, Yankees and Braves all played Sweet Caroline at some point during their games. The University of South Carolina, Jackie Bradley Jr.’s old stomping grounds, played the song during their game as well. The Brewers played the theme song to “Cheers!” a famous TV show about a Boston bar.
The Montreal Canadiens, the biggest rivals of the Boston Bruins, were one of the teams to salute Boston with a moment of silence and a Twitter shout out.
In Chicago at the Blackhawks game, a moment of silence was held. Right at the end, a fan somewhere yelled “we love you, Boston!” and the crowd erupted in cheers that continued straight through the National Anthem. Typically a silent event, Chicago fans decided to cheer through the powerful rendition of the Anthem just like fans were cheering at the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs went off.
Today’s edition of the Chicago Tribune paid tribute to Boston as well, saying “We are Chicago” with the five major Boston sports logos underneath.
The cover of the Sports section of the Chicago Tribune
In Philadelphia, Phillies closer and former Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon expressed his sorrow and disbelief over the situation. Papelbon used to live in a building right above where one of the bombs went off.
“I used to live right above where one of the bombs went off,” Papelbon said. “It’s kind of surreal. I don’t know man, it’s crazy. It’s hard to even think about.
“I lived right above Abe and Louie’s,” he said referring to a steakhouse in the area. “It’s sad, man.”
Papelbon wasn’t the only Phillie to respond to the situation. Outfielder Ben Revere wrote the words “PRAY For Boston” on a piece of tape that he placed on his glove. Then, he made the catch of the year.
A touching display from Ben Revere followed by the catch of the year
Everyone’s support endured.
Ravens Wide Receiver Torey Smith
NBA superstar and Celtic arch-nemesis LeBron James
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony
Vancouver Canucks and former Boston College goalie Cory Schneider
The New York Jets
Lakers Forward and longtime Celtics rival
Lakers Superstar Kobe Bryant Tweeted out a picture from Instagram, shown below
And then in Cleveland, a touching display of welcome and support from the city, highlighted by this card from one of Cleveland’s little tikes.
Will Middlebrooks, the Red Sox Third Baseman, summed it up best, shown below in an infographic from Comcast Sports Net New England
The Red Sox themselves had their own tribute in the dugout, a jersey with the words “Boston Strong” and the numbers “617”, Boston’s area code, on the back.
April 15th, 2013 will never be forgotten in Boston. The acts of the terrorists who planted the bombs have tragically changed our lives forever. But this week will not be remembered as the time that Boston fell.
This will be remembered as the day our city came together and saved each other.
This will be remembered as the day the good guys won.
The day the terrorists lost.
Welcome to Boston.
Hug those you hold dear. Don’t forget to say I love you. Never give up, never back down, and always Keep the Faith.
Pray for those who lost their lives, pray for those who were hurt, and pray for the city of Boston.
May God have mercy on us all and hold us in his graces through this difficult time.
Thanks, America. We love you too.