Archive for the ‘Boston Marathon’ Category

One of the first things I saw online this Monday morning was a reference about how unsafe it might be for fans of the San Diego Padres to show up at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Monday night due to the recent benches-clearing brawl in San Diego.

Then I saw a tweet from the Dodgers organization requesting their fans honor the legacy of Jackie Robinson “by maintaining a safe, comfortable and family friendly experience at Dodger Stadium.” Then saw that Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis was using his social-media platform to plead for Dodgers’ fans to show respect to Padres’ fans.

Nobody wanted the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color line to be marred by violence as the Padres and Dodgers got back on the same field, just four days after an altercation in which Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin broke the left collarbone of Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke after being hit by a pitch.

Got one educated guess here – after the events of the day in Boston, nobody on either the Padres or Dodgers will be in the mood to do anything silly Monday night. Hopefully, that includes everyone in the stands.

The bombing at the Boston Marathon where three people have been killed and more than 100 injured just makes no sense to me. Sadly, it just points to the further decline of life in America.

We learned last summer that it was no longer safe to go to a movie theater when a disturbed gunman in Aurora, Colorado struck shortly after midnight.

We were reminded in December that our schools aren’t even close to being safe with the awful tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

Just last week, there was a wacko teenager in Meridian, Idaho teaming up with another teen he met online who lives in Australia to call in bomb threats to schools and businesses.

Think calling in bomb threats are all fun and games?

Then check out the horror from Boston, where reports of body limbs being spotted on the streets from real bombs exploding just make your stomach queasy.

Just last Monday night, myself and thousands of other Americans were making fun of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino for ducking when indoor fireworks went off immediately following the end of the NCAA title game.

On further review, Pitino was in the right – you just can’t be too safe or too cautious when you hear an explosion in this era of unmatched stupidity.

I can remember when credentialed media first had to get their computer bags checks before being allowed to enter stadiums and arenas. There were a few San Diego media people – those bitter, short-sighted folks will go unidentified – who complained over and over about what a hassle it was.

Sure, it could be a minor inconvenience – just as it is to take the laptop out and remove your belt and shoes and empty your pockets at an airport security checkpoint.

But is it really that bad a deal to spend 30 seconds getting your bag checked to know that security is doing its best to make sure a stadium or arena is a safe environment?

Of course, that’s not to say somebody still couldn’t sneak in a gun or bomb. On three straight visits to LaVell Edwards Stadium on the Brigham Young University campus, I snuck in two 20-ounce plastic bottles of Diet Coke in my computer bag.

I had one bottle in each glove with the gloves standing upward at the bottom of the bag. The fact that I could do that on three straight visits did cause me to wonder how easy it might be for an unsavory type to smuggle something dangerous into the stadium.

I only did the Diet Coke thing because BYU doesn’t serve any caffeinated drinks in the press box and I would be there for 11-to-12 hours. The searches done at college stadiums were never as intense as when I was on the NFL beat, where security at some stadiums took nearly everything out of your bag.

That said, I pretty much always felt safe covering sporting events. I covered three Super Bowls and never once entertained the thought that a bombing or terrorist attack could take place.

Before Monday, the only major bombing at an American sporting event that I can recall was the Atlanta Olympics bombing at Centennial Park in 1996. Typically, sporting venues are a safe place.

So how does one police an outdoor event like the Boston Marathon? I can’t even imagine how tight security will be next year, when the marathon will now receive more attention than ever.

It will be hard to think of the Boston Marathon as solely a sporting event in the future. It is the most famous running event in this country and a huge, huge day throughout New England.

And worse, Monday’s tragic events remind all of us that civilization is in deep decline with no end to this type of chaos in sight.

I shudder at the thought of what this world will be like when my six amazing young nephews and nieces reach middle age.

And I thought Monday was going to be a bad day because I was going to have to write tax checks to the IRS that were higher than my total income in March. I will be broke until late May.

Kind of seems pretty silly now with the perspective of the events in Boston entrenched in our memories forever.

Yeah, I think everybody will be behaving at Dodger Stadium tonight. No doubt.