On The Wing: Fans will prevail despite cowardly acts at Marathon

By Nathan Barillari
Managing Editor

I was preparing to inhale my lunch before I left for work on Monday, just like I always do, when I brought up Twitter on my phone.  It was then when I saw a tweet from the Boston Globe saying that two explosions went off at the Boston Marathon.
At first, I didn’t fully understand how serious the bombings were; the high amount of deaths and acts of violence that are so often reported left me hardened to what the seriousness of the situation could be.
As somebody who follows the Red Sox, I know how important the marathon is to the people of Boston, and the entire world as well. The Red Sox are generally home on Patriot’s Day, normally starting their game at around 11 a.m. to accommodate the marathon.
Everybody knows how scary the bombings were and that’s mainly because of the mystery that surrounds the circumstances. It seems that the bomber(s) weren’t meaning to necessarily kill a lot of people – there were only three confirmed deaths – but more likely, they meant to instill fear into the minds of the American people. As of now, nobody knows for sure if it was a domestic or international source that orchestrated the bombings.
What scares me the most is that this happened at one of the biggest sports events in the world and perhaps the most internationally dominated stage in the world of sports. The biggest question in my mind is that if something like this can happen on such a big stage and at such an important event, who’s to say it couldn’t happen anywhere else?
Remember the power outage at the Superbowl? An interview on the “Jim Rome Show” from a reporter shed light on just how scary that situation was. From my couch at home, I just saw this as an opportunity to take a nap, while some people at the Super Bowl thought of it as their last opportunity to say goodbye to their families, as a possible precursor to a terrorist attack.
Luckily, it turned out to be nothing more than a power outage, but I think that example along with the marathon shows that at least the idea of something bad happening at a sports event is there and it can happen.
Does it change the way people go to games? I wonder if I will feel less secure the next time I go to a Sabres game. These vicious attacks showed that no matter how hard we try to be safe, there’s always somebody out there that wants to inflict harm on others and will stop at nothing to do it.
The Buffalo Sabres played against the Boston Bruins Thursday night in what was the first game played in the city following the tragedy.
As many of you know, the Sabres were able to capture the win, 2-1 in a shootout. Even though the Sabres are in the midst of a playoff race, I almost felt bad to see the Bruins lose for the sake of the city. I felt better after the game when players from both teams lifted their sticks at center ice in salute to the city of Boston following the game. This was a move orchestrated by Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek and Boston’s Zdeno Chara and serves as a symbol that no matter what city we live in, we’re all on the same team.
The bombings at the Boston Marathon shouldn’t change the way we watch sports. If anything, I expect people to cheer twice as loud and support their teams twice as hard.
To show the world that as sports fans, and as a country, we are not afraid; no matter what you throw at us, we’ll stand by our team, our city and our country.
Sports may just be games, but they mean so much more than that to so many people; sports are what keep us together. They are a huge part of our lives and communities, and a cowardly act by a cowardly person won’t change that.


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