It’s hard to describe the emotions that this week has been not just for sports, but for the country in general. I’ve seen so many different tragedies in my life that down the road I’ll be talking about each one with my kids and grand kids. I’ve seen so much evil, so much lack of remorse for human kind it’s hard to portray.
Keep in mind, the generation before me can say they lived through the Gulf War, and the one prior can say they went through WWII and Vietnam. I didn’t expect to see that kind of evil and massive loss of life at all in my time.
But then came September 11, 2001, and everything changed. The entire country came together in one of the biggest…no, THE BIGGEST, unified time in my life. In a way, sports was something that brought the country back together after such an event. Sure some series didn’t start back up till the week after, which was expected. But when it did, things were all unified, everyone wasn’t say “black, white, Asian, Japanese, Italian, etc.” In that moment, every person was simply American.
This week brought all those back. Monday’s events in Boston shook everyone to their core, their heart and very existence. It saw the evil of what people can do, but in that moment as well it showed the true unity that can be seen among everyone.
Strangers helping others that they didn’t know, carrying them to safety, runners that had already finished the race running right back to the scene to help get the debris out of the way, others immediately wanting to go to the Red Cross to donate blood, and the incredible staff at every hospital in Boston, some of the finest in the country, doing just what they are trained to do.
It seemed like the evil was over, but to then see it continue to a shooting at MIT, only to find out the Boston PD and federal agents had suspects, one of them killed in a shootout, and a manhunt for the second suspect was on, literally bringing every part of the city to a stand still.
Finally, seeing all the citizens of Boston unite to know the other suspect that killed three people, one being a child, and injuring many more, including some with pieces of debris in their body and others forced to lose limbs, was in custody, the joy and relief just flooded over. I’ve never seen a week where the evil of two individuals, both being young men (one not even out of his teen years), could be on display but then in a matter of five days see the joy and success of so many authority figures from the Boston PD, Watertown PD, FBI, ATF, and everyone else involved in capturing one of the two suspects, and capturing him alive.
The sports world certainly has helped in showing their appreciation for the events all the while remembering the victims. NASCAR came to Kansas seeing flags flown at half mast, and many cars running special decals in honor of Boston and it’s people. Owner Jack Roush is partnered with Fenway to form Roush-Fenway Racing, so he has a stronger connection to the area, with all his cars running the Red Sox logo.
Michael Waltrip Racing ran a different kind of honor. Owner Michael Waltrip has run the marathon before, so what his teams did was do their car numbers in the same style as the banners that all runners in the marathon wear.
Majority of the rest of the field ran the blue and yellow ribbon for Boston, while some team members had a strong connection on a personal level, with one of the Hendrick crew members being the brother of the murdered officer in the MIT shootout. But, all the drivers, crew members, fans and staff at Kansas knew they had to honor a great city, and did so with spectacular results.
The healing process has begun for the city of Boston. People will head back to work on Monday, take the buses and trains, others will get back in their squad cars knowing that the worst week of their lives has ended, and now they can move forward. It will take a long while for those citizens to truly heal, mainly because right now we don’t know why the brothers decided to bomb such an event, and not have remorse for their actions.
We all may never know if the younger brother ends up dying or refusing to talk, as it’s still a mystery.
But, if there was any indication of what truly a unified city and nation can be like, Monday’s bombing in Boston proved that even for a few moments, we all can come together and help our fellow brothers and sisters.
AUTHOR NOTE: I have friends that live in Boston, and in the surrounding states, and I want to continue to send out my best wishes to the citizens of Boston, as well as a great appreciation for the hard work that every member of the Boston PD and all the other local police departments, the FBI, ATF and everyone else that worked so hard this past week to get to the bottom of what happened, and capture one of the two suspects. BOSTON STRONG!
RESULTS: 1-Kenseth 2-Kahne 3-Johnson 4-Truex Jr. 5-Bowyer 6-Keselowski 7-McMurray 8-Almirola 9-Martin 10-Menard
NOTABLE FINISHES: 13-Gordon 16-Earnhardt Jr. 17-Edwards 21-Stewart 25-Patrick 38-Kyle Busch
CAUTIONS: 8 for 40 laps. Lap 6-8 (#18 spin-BS), 39-43 (#7 accident-T2), 74-77 (Debris-T2), 88-90 (#81 accident-T4), 105-122 (#18, 22 accident-T4), 175-178 (#11 spin-T2), 183-187 (#9, 10, 12, 13, 38 accident-BS), 219-224 (Debris-T4).
LEAD CHANGES: 13 among 8 drivers. Kenseth 1-74, Stremme 75, Kenseth 76-111, Truex Jr. 112-146, Johnson 147-155, Edwards 156-159, Earnhardt Jr. 160, Stenhouse Jr. 161, Newman 162-163, Truex Jr. 164-174, Kenseth 175, Edwards 176-190, Stenhouse Jr. 191-215, Kenseth 216-267.
TIME OF RACE: 2 Hrs, 59 Mins, 51 Secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 133.611 MPH
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.150 Seconds
POINTS: 1. Johnson, 311 points; 2. Kahne, -37; 3. Keselowski, -38; 4. Biffle, -47; 5. Earnhardt Jr, -48; 6. Edwards, -49; 7. Kyle Busch, -54; 8. Kenseth, -59; 9. Bowyer, -64; 10. Menard, -71; 11. McMurray, -84; 12. Harvick, -87