Archive for the ‘Injuries’ Category

Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay RaysWhen we talk about the occurrence of tragedy during a sporting event, we’re typically referring to something that isn’t actually tragic. It might be a bullpen blowing a save, a missed shot on an open net, a failed uncontested layup, or a shanked field goal attempt. We use inaccurate terminology as a means of describing the goings on of a sport because it’s a vicarious experience for us. We suspend our understanding of reason for three hours and allow what’s ultimately a distraction from our day-to-day inanities to take over, entertain us and allow others on the field of play to be vessels for living out our own fantasies.

If the language we use to describe this event enters the realm of hyperbole, it’s not merely a coincidence. It’s all part of the charade. It’s part of the ritual we use to fully immerse ourselves into the distraction. This also includes the morbid: he murdered that ball; they’re killing him out there; that crossover left him for dead. The use of such terms seems silly and grotesque when serious incidents awaken us from the suspension of our belief and the distraction that we willingly allow while watching sports.

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ was hit in the head by a line drive and taken off the field on a stretcher with one out in the second inning of his team’s eventual 6-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. The last half of that sentence seems very unimportant.

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Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles LakersKobe Bryant fell to the floor with 3:08 remaining in the fourth quarter of his Los Angeles Lakers’ 118-116 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night. Following a timeout, Bryant went back onto the court, made both of his free throw attempts and left the game with 34 points, five rebounds and four assists. He had played every minute of the game up until that point, hitting back-to-back three-pointers to tie the Warriors only forty seconds before going down with what was later diagnosed as a torn achilles tendon in his left leg.

As Bryant answered questions in a postgame media scrum, he stood – a feat only possible through the assistance of crutches – with tears mixed with sweat on his face, making the MRI scheduled for Saturday seem perfunctory. While Friday night’s win might strengthen the Lakers’ hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the NBA’s Western Conference, Friday night’s loss is likely to have a far bigger impact on their season, as it renders Bryant unable to participate any further, with or without a postseason entry.

To fans, the Lakers losing Bryant is like going to see a movie because of the lead actor, only for his or her character to get killed off before the climax of the film. It’s not supposed to happen this way. Not to him. Not like this.

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Louisville VS. DukeWith six minutes and 39 seconds remaining in the first-half of Sunday’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Midwest regional final between Duke University and the University of Louisville, Cardinals guard Kevin Ware leaped to block a shot from Blue Devils guard Tyler Thornton, and landed awkwardly on his right leg. The results were horrific. Scream of agony. Compound fracture. Hands over heads of teammates. Looks of terror on the faces of opponents.

Ware’s leg had broken in a manner reminiscent of Joe Theisman’s career-ending injury after getting sacked by Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor on November 18th, 1985, or Eduardo da Silva’s left fibula being broken while playing in a match on February 23rd, 2008. Bone was visible, and body parts were bending in a fashion for which they were not meant to bend.

It seems to be of secondary importance to note that Louisville somehow went on to win the game and advance to the Final Four. However, they did, thus fulfilling Ware’s request as the player was being transported to Methodist Hospital with two fractures in his right leg. After surgery on Sunday evening, Ware was resting comfortably, posting photos through social media and speaking with teammates. He now faces at least an entire year of recovery.

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