With the A's in a horrible downslide, I can see it's going to be a difficult season for me. But in reading today's SF Chronicle Sports section, there were two notices that put things in a different perspective.
First was a small AP story about former NFL quarterback Todd Marinovich. I remember stories about him when I was at NBC. His dad, a former NFL player, trained him from childhood. I can remember seeing a piece on him as a kid going through drills with his dad. He was not being prepared for life, he was just being groomed to be a football star. He had some early successes at USC, but fell into a pattern of drug addiction. The newest entry into the saga is an arrest in Orange County on May 20. He was found in a public bathroom with a bent spoon and syringe. On the police report, he listed his occupation as "unemployed artist."
Buried in the Sports Digest was a notice that the final coroner's report came out on Al Lucas, an Arena Football League lineman who died April 10 from "blunt force trauma on his spinal cord during a game." His death was ruled accidental. He was 26 years old.
I love being a sports fan. I do think there are things to be learned by children and adults in both playing and following sports--teamwork, loyalty, patience. I have admiration for the talented players who give their all for their sport and, ultimately, for my entertainment.
I guess another important point to learn is perspective on the toll sports can take on some players, in both body and soul.