I figure that Mark Buehrle's no-hitter is cause enough to begin my diary entering on DailyKos...
Anyhow, Mark Buehrle just tossed a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers. It may just be a cold Wednesday night in Chicago, but we're celebrating here on the South Side. As a lifelong Sox fan, I'm a little mad that I wasn't even watching this particular game on TV, but it would sure as hell have been better to even be there. You can check out ESPN's coverage here. I guess I picked the wrong cold game at The Cell when I went last week.
There's certainly been enough bad going on in the last week that this is a bright spot: The V. Tech shootings, 170+ dead in multiple bombings in Iraq today, the ongoing US Attorneys scandal, all Imus all the time, upholding the partial-birth abortion ban, and the ever-present, godawful, stubbornness that is the Bush administration.
(after re-reading this list I realize just how terrifying and sad this week has been, and I probably still missed something huge).
So I watched all of the clips of the game that I could get, and Buehrle pitched a gem, though he was lucky to have a good defensive night from the Sox (infield especially). When I checked out the post-game clips, I couldn't help but notice that Mark's wearing a Hokies hat (you can see this clip in the video section of ESPN.com right now, I'm sorry that I'm unable to provide the link for it).
At least in what's on ESPN, he never says anything about the fact that he's wearing the hat. Certainly the sports world has been quick to support a school that they consider their own. NASCAR's choosing to display the VT logo for the next 3 weeks, the Washington Nationals wearing those Virginia Tech maroon hats during a game yesterday. The support seems somewhat less than genuine, but I can't help but think that the hearts of these displays are in the right place.
The outpouring of support is certainly evident on college campuses as well. There's a particular cynicism to this, but we at the University of Chicago are infinitely thankful that our worst disgruntled student was a Chemistry arsonist last (school) year. (Our College paper The Maroon discusses the arsonist at length here). Here and at every other campus across the nation, grief and solidarity are being expressed in the many ways we communicate: On Facebook(and I presume MySpace), as well as through vigils, church services, and honest discussions about the realities we face as young people in America.
There has been tons of coverage about how much we, as Americans, have come to consider gun violence to be a new part of our way of life, and how we no longer consider such things to be out of the ordinary. You can be damn sure that this isn't the case everywhere. Certainly there is a de-sensitizing aspect to the fact that we see the huge numbers up every day from death in Iraq and stateside. Still, you can be damn sure, that there are tons of people across the country thinking and grieving for the victims at Virginia Tech, be they professional baseball players, students, or parents of young people like me.
While Major League Baseball might be part of our bread-and-circus distractions from the real world and its infinite problems (see the list above for but a sample!), the no-hitter Mark Buehrle threw couldn't help but cheer me up. Baseball shouldn't serve to overwhelm all of the United States' current woes, and I am aware that Mark Buehrle's no hitter won't even begin to address the economic issues faced by the South Side of Chicago (our Olympic bid is a whole 'nother story altogether). Nonetheless, the celebration of such an achievement in professional sports, seems appropriately coupled with the subtle but significant sign of acknowledgment that was the Hokies hat worn by Mark after the game. I think it might help to remind us that cynicism isn't all that's left to express when tragedy strikes, and that life goes on, even while mourning.