Souhan: Boston's best runners raced to help those in need

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 17, 2013 - 6:05 AM

Sports bring us together, and terroristic acts won’t pull us apart.

hide

Flowers are placed by a Boston police barricade near the finish line of the Boston Marathon

Photo: Winslow Townson, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

It could happen here.

It could happen anywhere.

Any day, at any American ballpark, arena, stadium or finish line, a terrorist or random lunatic could kill us or our loved ones. That has always been true, which became clear as blood on cobblestones on Monday, when bombs killed and maimed people at the Boston Marathon on Patriots’ Day in a great American city.

Shrapnel packed into pressure cookers brought sports into the modern world, a world that lives under the daily threat of terrorism.

The good people in Boston on Monday have already proved that those attending sports events will react the way the rest of the modern world has, whether after a bombing at a sidewalk cafe in Tel Aviv or a thwarted gas attack on the tube in London. People learn, as the Brits say, to keep calm and carry on.

There is no other option if you are an American. To live in an open society is to embrace risk. There is no security system that can guarantee safety. From Monday forward, every person at a sports event will have reason to proceed with a heightened sense of awareness, a suspicion of the discarded backpack or a long overcoat on a warm day.

There is a difference, though, between awareness and fear. The people in Boston proved that when they had the most to fear.

Whatever life-imitating entity was responsible for the bombings in Boston wanted to see people running. That wish was fulfilled.

When smoke cascaded over the bodies and the blood, people ran.

First responders sprinted toward the noise. Competitors near the finish line of the Boston Marathon pushed on, toward Massachusetts General Hospital, to give blood. One elderly man knocked off his feet by one blast righted himself and finished the race.

We can be frightened. We can’t be terrorized.

The bombs in Boston reminded us that one of the dominant characteristics of evil is shrewdness.

Al-Qaida targeted the Twin Towers, symbols of capitalism.

The bombs in Boston targeted a democratic competition held on a day celebrating democracy.

There is a difference between shrewdness and understanding, though. The perpetrators in Boston will learn what Al-Qaida did, which is that an act of violence against Americans can kill and maim, but it can’t alter our way of life.

Somewhere someone with limited sensibilities is saying that the bombing “puts sports into perspective,” but that demonstrates only confusion over the place of sports in many of our lives.

A terroristic act doesn’t put sports into perspective any more than it puts music or theater or television or a yearning for good coffee into perspective.

Sport is one of the things we do together. In a country of increasing diversity in tastes and religions, sport might be the most prevalent and popular thing we do together.

Check the television ratings. Where once the United States gathered, apart yet together, to watch Walter Cronkite or Ed Sullivan, now sporting events create our largest congregations. For better and worse, sport is our national religion.

The horror of April 15 in Boston will fade eventually, just as the horror over 9/11 did, and we will again be left with images of heroism.

After 9/11, we remembered the men and women who scaled smoky stairwells and dug through rubble.

After the bombings at the Boston Marathon, we will remember runners: those who ran to help.

 

Jim Souhan can been heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10-noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. jsouhan@startribune.com.

  • related content

  • FBI appeals for help solving marathon bombings

    Wednesday April 17, 2013

    The bombs involved kitchen pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails and other lethal shrapnel — but the FBI said nobody has claimed responsibility.

  • Continuing coverage: Bombings in Boston

    Thursday May 23, 2013

    Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 injured by two explosions just seconds apart near the Boston Marathon finish line.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7 2nd Qtr 9:27
Jacksonville 0
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 45 3rd Qtr
Chicago 52
New Orleans 25 2nd Qtr 10:35
Houston 25
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 1 3rd Prd 11:25
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 3rd Prd 9:05
Pittsburgh 0
Toronto 1 3rd Prd 12:00
Carolina 2
Washington 3 3rd Prd 12:47
Columbus 3
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd 15:47
Montreal 0
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 52 2nd Half 3:11
Louisiana Tech 74
Morgan State 42 2nd Half 4:22
Rider 55
Idaho State 60 2nd Half 0:59
South Dakota St 58
Oakland City 30 2nd Half 14:05
Austin Peay 49
Eureka 29 2nd Half 15:09
Bradley 53
Appalachian St 39 2nd Half 16:50
Charlotte 37
Connecticut 25 2nd Half
Duke 30
Southern Miss 16 2nd Half
Jackson State 38
Coastal Carolina 48 2nd Half 14:42
Ole Miss 38
Montana State 25 1st Half 3:16
South Dakota 25
LSU 5 1st Half 15:22
UAB 14
Ohio 9 1st Half 15:13
Evansville 8
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
Idaho
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 48 2nd Half 1:09
Lipscomb 67
Samford 16 1st Half 1:29
Tulane 25
New Orleans 21 2nd Half 20:00
Tulsa 35
Incarnate Word 26 2nd Half
TX-Pan American 28
Ark-Little Rock 15 2nd Half 20:00
South Dakota St 29
CS-Northridge 29 1st Half 3:15
Northern Ariz 36
Santa Clara 8 1st Half 15:00
Oregon 9
(19) Oklahoma St 4 1st Half 17:14
Weber State 3
Washington 8 1st Half 15:40
San Diego State 5
Cal Poly 6 1st Half 15:23
New Mexico 5
(10) Louisville 8 1st Half 17:08
Grand Canyon 2

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close