Sports Media Musings: Sorrow and Tragedy Strike 117th Boston Marathon

boston

I was putting the finishing touches on a Red Sox column for Metro Boston when I took a quick second to touch up a piece I’ve been working on for BSMW about WEEI’s precipitous fall. These days, I’ve become very good at multi-tasking, a skill I would unknowingly summon all afternoon and into the night. Like others, once I heard news of an explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, I became glued to my Twitter timeline — learning news of the terror which had reared its head in our city, on our holiday, Patriots Day, 140 characters at a time. For all the inane observations and rumors it produces during games and trade deadlines, the social media platform was particularly valuable in the immediate aftermath of the events.

At 27 years-old, I’m not going to pretend to know what to write in this space. Frankly speaking, I’m not sure if I would know what to write even at 50-years-old.

I don’t know what Pear Harbor was like, and can only surface a few cursory memories of the Oklahoma City bombing.  9/11 resonated in its own horrid way. For whatever reason, Columbine seemed like it happened in a different world. Meanwhile Newtown and Aurora hit close to home. Now this. With each of the last three events separated by less than 200 days, it’s becoming harder and harder to conclude that the world we live in isn’t inhabited by evil. I don’t want to believe that, but part of me does. I feel guilty, honestly, but can’t help it. As I wrote for the Metro today,  I found out Monday that it’s different when these events occur in your city. It’s a car accident that you don’t get to drive by and forget about. Instead, it lives with you.

Patriots Day, despite its new infamous association, will happen next year. A cathartic event where we’re forever reminded to never forget what happened on April 15th, 2013. And we won’t. I don’t doubt that justice will prevail, and, ultimately, normalcy will be restored. And I don’t doubt that Boston, as its wont to do, will pull together in the face of tragedy. But reading the endless accounts, walking through the city, and processing the events that transpired makes any notion of healing seem far away.

In light of that, there will be no media column today. Even with so much going on in Brighton, just a few blocks away from my apartment, and a 10 minute car ride away from Copley Place, the visits from The Suits, Pete Sheppard, Mike Salk, and other items will have to wait. In the interim, we can hope, while searching for answers, that those in the media will shepherd us through this difficult time, providing accurate information. From a media consumption standpoint, Greg Bedard put it best, in times like these it’s important to “be right, not first.”

As Bruce linked earlier, Charlie Pierce has an excellent, must-read piece over at Grantland on the startling eventsand Steve Silva’s raw video was shrilling.

I hope everyone in the BSMW community is safe and sound.  I’m not sure why, but I just wanted to write this.

@Hadfield__.