Appreciate “the Now” in Sports and Life


Just think of the kind of roller coaster the good people of Houston have gone through.

First, Hurricane Harvey cut a very wide swath through the Texas city with more than 50 inches of rain causing a tragic loss of life, creating irreplaceable loss of cars, homes, family heirlooms and more.

The emotional story of how the people of Houston worked to keep each other safe during the storm, stepped up to rebuild and then help neighbors in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Florida is well-chronicled.

Not even to suggest a connection between that tragedy and the sports world, we all know how much an outside occurrence can bring a community together, give them something to get behind, give them a boost in spirit, and do wonders for their outlook following a time of deep desolation.

That’s what the World Series did for the folks in Houston. With the Astros winning their very first Series in a thrilling seven-game triumph over the Dodgers, the great and courageous people of Houston got exactly what was needed.

The scene of the victory parade celebrating baseball’s championship was a welcome and heartening reflection of the contrast of a city’s emotions.

Then, the very next day, the roller-coaster took a severe downward turn.

DeShaun Watson, the rookie quarterback of the Houston Texans, who had been nothing short of sensational since taking over as QB, tore the ACL in his right knee, ending his season.

After leading Clemson to college football’s national championship over Alabama last season, the Texans traded-up to grab Watson in the first round.

Rookies are not supposed to perform as Watson did. Immediately upon taking over he played like a seasoned-veteran, with an excitement that took the Texans and their fans by storm.

Then it was over. At least for this season.

The Houston fans were devastated.

Just think about it.

Capturing the World Series by giving the city something to celebrate following a major disaster, only to be let down the next day, is hard to imagine.

Injuries, as we all know, are part of sports.

But they can be such a downer if it happens to your team. It can be downright depressing.

Just give thought to the Green Bay Packers, and their loyal fans, who had images of a Super Bowl in their dreams.

Aaron Rodgers, the Packers quarterback, ranked alongside Tom Brady as the best in the game, broke his collarbone in a game against the Vikings, a few weeks ago.

The Packers don’t expect Rodgers to return this season and with it, go the Packers hopes.

It can happen to anyone on any team, anytime, which makes pre-season predictions a joke.

If this has happened to a prominent player on whatever team you follow closely, you know how it can lower your spirit. Yes, it’s only sports, but when you consider what might-have-been, it’s crushing.

It came unreasonably early for the Boston Celtics this season when one of their two-top free agent acquisitions suffered a horrific fracture of his left leg in the opening game, only six minutes after the start of his Celtics career.

The loss of one of the league’s best players haven’t deterred the Celtics from getting off to a good start to the campaign, but who knows what the long-term effects will be on a team that eyes a championship.

Sometimes, not often, a team can overcome an injury to a major star and survive longer than expected.

Last year, the Nashville Predators lost their star center Ryan Johnson, with a thigh injury which required immediate surgery, in the Western Conference Final.

The Predators managed to reach the Finals before the Penguins beat them in six games to capture the Stanley Cup.

There is a never-ending roll-call of significant players in every sport who have suffered injuries to ruin the high hopes of teams who have been built to win a championship for their fans.

It doesn’t even have to affect college or professional teams.

How about individual sports? How about golf? And how about Tiger Woods?

Here was an athlete who was on his way to being regarded as perhaps the greatest golfer of all-time. It was considered almost a foregone conclusion he would break the great Jack Nicklaus’ record for the most major tournaments won.

But Woods’ back surgeries, on top of earlier injuries to his left knee, as well his Achilles, have left him a question mark as to whether he’ll ever play competitively again, much less win tournaments, especially a major.

The message here, is for teams and their fans, never to take for granted a championship, or contention for one.

You never know.

Will an injury to a star end those dreams?

So, appreciate the now. Don’t project. Keep your fingers crossed if you think it will help.

You know, when you consider it, isn’t that true about life in general?


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