Imrem: Sports an escape from the labors of life

  • A fan holds a sign during the national anthem before the first game of a baseball doubleheader against the New York Mets, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Houston.

    A fan holds a sign during the national anthem before the first game of a baseball doubleheader against the New York Mets, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Houston.

Updated 9/3/2017 7:46 PM

Labor Day, like all holidays, is a great time to reflect on everything from the meaning of life to the meanderings of Joe Maddon.

Like despite their flaws and frustrations, sports do serve to distract from pain, suffering and angst around the country.


Take Houston.

The Astros were urged to play games over the weekend so fans could take their minds off the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

The New York Times quoted Astros outfielder George Springer as saying, "I understand that for a lot of people, there isn't anything that can distract them from the reality of their situation. So the goal today is go out and play two quality baseball games, and hopefully provide people with something else to concentrate on for a little bit."

Take Charlottesville, Virginia.

The hometown University of Virginia played a football game Saturday that enabled many residents to take their minds off the hate group that marched in their college town three weeks ago.

The Washington Post quoted Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall as saying, "It helps just to make people feel better for the moment. I also think just by seeing people compete fiercely and hard for a purpose, for a cause, for an institution, for each other, there can be inspiration there, too."

Take Chicago.

Sports on just about any given day can take minds here off the general worries of the world.

Cubs fans could forget about their own health issues for a few hours and worry about whether Javy Baez was badly injured Sunday.

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Bears fans could forget about their own job insecurities for a while and monitor which players were out of work after being cut.

White Sox fans could forget North Korea testing bombs and keep track of which promising prospects are booming and which are, uh, bombing.

One my favorite sayings is sports is something to care about that doesn't matter.

I'll just speak for myself after a lifetime of wondering why I spend so much time caring about adult men playing children's games.

My life doesn't change no matter the outcome. I'm not wealthier or healthier if a Chicago team wins or loses.

As invigorating as the Cubs' victory in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series was, my back still hurt the next day and my bills still had to be paid.

The same goes for the Sox championship in '05, the Bears Super Bowl title in the '85 season, the Bulls dynasty in the '90s and the Blackhawks three Stanley Cups since '10.


Heck, why wouldn't those be thrilling? I have been going out to watch Chicago sports teams try to win for all but the first five years of my lengthy life.

But I have to admit that the thrill of victory also meant those teams gave me terrific stories to write about.

It's all about me … and about you … more than about the teams and athletes.

We forget sometimes that what matters isn't what we do for the teams but what they do for us.

The Washington Post quoted Astros president Reid Ryan as saying, "These games are not going to be us overcoming the storm. They are going to be the beginning of what's going to be a long rebuild and an acknowledgment that we will move on."

Sports, kept in perspective, can fill in the gaps along the long road to recovery.

Meanwhile, enjoy your Labor Day.

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