Tonawanda News

Opinion

April 19, 2013

ADAMCZYK: Running in the street

Tonawanda News — It did not take long after the bombs or pressure cookers or whatever they were went off at the Boston Marathon this week that the message rang out across the nations, the blogosphere and the tweet world: they messed with the wrong city.

Boston, from my own experience, is not the sort of place that freaks out or rolls over when a tragedy befalls it. It did not take long for that sentiment to circle the globe, either.

So what kind of city does collapse in a heap of remorse, panic or bathos after an incident such as that of this past week? If it happened in Buffalo, how would we handle it, and would we handle it differently from Boston?

They’re giving the great city of Boston a little too much credit for staying strong. New York, Jerusalem, Paris, Tokyo, even Buffalo would not crack under such circumstances, and neither will Boston.

Indeed, stay strong, Boston. And stay strong, Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Belfast and Aleppo.

It was only a generation ago Howard Cosell described sport as life’s toy department, but it is actually an experimental social cauldron for society. Sometimes it’s blindingly ahead of the curve, as in Jackie Robinson’s entry into major league baseball (there’s a movie out on the topic, and yes, kids, that’s more-or-less how it really happened); other times it is as slow as the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, but equally impactful. (The current buzz is that, any day now, one or more prominent athletes in professional team sport will declare themselves gay, and I am among those eager to observe how the world handles it.)

Beyond the dead and maimed at the Boston Marathon, I think about the marathon itself, a remarkable example of how America relates to sport. Several hundred professionals, several tens of thousands of amateurs, a field of play that is a series of city streets, an audience on the sidewalk and not in skyboxes, a place for everyone interested in involvement. Oh, and a colorful history that involves, among other things, a wisecrack from broadcast journalist Heywood Hale Broun: two doctors, friends, encouraging each other to participate in the Boston Marathon with taunts like “I bet you throw up before Mile 20, before I do.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leffler Mug 041114 [Duplicate] LEFFLER: 'Need to know' a double-edged sword Inquisitive doesn't begin to describe me. I must know everything. About everything. I hate being in the dark. I guess that's what makes my career choice so very obvious. I think "must know everything" is at the top of most journalists' trait lists.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wallace, Amy BW mug WALLACE: Airplane coverage has gone awry I don't know about you, but I am so sick of the cable news stations' constant coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTER: NIMAC grateful for NT support

    April 10, 2014

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: Making a list, checking it twice Maybe I was thinking about David Letterman's impending retirement. Or maybe it was because my brother posted it to Facebook. I spent a couple hours the other day crafting two top 10 lists, of my favorite books and movies.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo