Goodness, kindness on display in the face of sadness, loneliness
For those us involved in the wonderful, wacky, wild, wooly, sometimes even weird world of sports, it is not surprising that so many people find themselves wanting for the ability to attend or to watch live games.
It is funny how we are virtually grasping at straws, searching every channel available to us to find any sporting event or game from the recent past or even distant past.
In my house, there have been frequent visits to the MLB Network, NFL Network, the NHL Network and NBA TV.
The SEC Network, various ESPN networks, FS1, CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports Southwest, Cox Sports Television, the NBC sports channels and others have found their way via my remote control devices.
Most recently, I sat and watched a replay of the entire national championship football game and the LSU victory over Clemson in the Merdeces-Benz Superdome earlier this year. Last night, it was staying up to watch Super Bowl XLIV again, texting Pierre Thomas to tell him how good he was.
To say the least, sports fill gaps in our lives, in the lives of so many worldwide.
The totality of this serious, even dire situation of the Coronavirus on some fronts, is evident as we ponder our mortality.
Where there is isolation, there is the creation of new ideas and the dedication to those closest to us.
Where there is despair, there is great care.
Where there is affliction, there is the conviction to find solutions and defeat the malaise.
Where there is fear, there is a clear vision to eliminate the latest health threat before the end of the year.
In times of trouble, people turn to others, to trustees, to matters of faith as well.
For the latter, Psalm 23:6 is most applicable with what we are witnessing.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
We find ourselves lonely, relegated to being quarantined at home, for the most part.
There is the revelation of 2 Corinthians 6-7:
“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
We are seeing great examples of cheerful giving from the world of sports.
Even for those who are not fans, those who virtually ignore athletics and even those who abhor sports, there has to be an admission of admiration for what the sports world is doing for the cause of helping others, of working to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
NBA athletes, NBA announcers, the heads of state for countries, religious leaders and even the head coach of our beloved New Orleans Saints. Here is a list of those afflicted in the sports world, to date, compiled by CBS Sports yesterday.
The evidence is everywhere.
Virtually all professional teams across all professional leagues, including Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and Major League Soccer in the United States have given or pledged significant support.
Locally, we have seen wonderful acts of giving from community stalwarts in Gayle Benson, Drew Brees, Zion Williamson and D.J. Augustin. That comes as no surprise.
The world famous Barcelona soccer club delivered 30K masks to Catalonia. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has stepped up for Italy.
A group has been formed titled, “Athletes for COVID-19 Relief,”
Donations from around the NFL have now exceeded 35 million dollars. Russell Wilson is among those and that is certainly no surprise. The same is true of JJ Watt, a stalwart in the Houston community. Myles Garrett if helping his image by stepping up. DeMarcus Lawrence, Blake Jarwin, Sean Lee, Jaylon Smith, Daniel Ross and retiring center Travis Frederick of the Cowboys are in that number. So are Adrian Peterson and Baker Mayfield.
Danilo Gallinari is funding tests and equipment to help the cause. Kevin Love and Blake Griffin were quick to respond with generous donations. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, Kyle Kuzma, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, Luke Doncic, Dwight Powell and Dallas owner Mark Cuban and Houston coach Mike D’Antoni have stepped up as well.
Rudy Gobert, who joked about the virus and then contracted it, has repented of his ways and he has given of himself.
In Major League Baseball, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor and Carlos Correa are among those who have been part of the giving.
In tennis, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have been front and center in great fashion.
Numerous NHL owners, executives and players have made significant contributions. Sergei Brobrovsky has been public with his support.
Cricketer Shahid Afridi has provided wonderfully as well.
In the midst of so many negative statements, casting aspersions, hostile relationships, political differences and animus ruling the day, there is brightness, kindness, goodness, mercy, generosity, benevolence, graciousness and honor on full display for all to see.
Much of it emanates from the world of sports, which we embrace, live in and make a living in.
High school coaches are maintaining daily contact with student-athletes, keeping the fire burning, keeping the faith going in the face of adversity and uncertainty. College coaches are tending to their flocks as well.
At some point, we will return to the norm, enjoying competitions at every level and presenting the great stories you are accustomed to seeing.
Until then, we will enjoy what we have witnessed, appreciate what we have been given and learn how not to take those precious aspects of our lives for granted.
The good in people is revealed when the bad in life occurs. We have seen goodness and no doubt will continue to see it manifested by many.
For those suffering tragic loss, our genuine thoughts and prayers are with you.
For those suffering through the virus, we are believing in a healing.
For those who have lost so much financially and are struggling to support themselves and their families, let us hope that the timing is shorter, rather than longer for restoration to your station in life.
James 1:2-4 captures the determination we must have in dealing with troubles.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
The latest trial will test us and let us all pass it with flying colors.
Thanks to those in the sports world for showing out with the very best that we can be. May we all embrace that concept.
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Chief Executive Officer
Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…