Two weeks ago I wrote a column about the high school playoff system. Got pretty worked up about it, too.

I was quite pleased with myself. I thought I hit all the right points. It seemed like a very important issue.

The next morning I read about the California wildfires. Thousands are displaced; the death toll my go into the hundreds. My concerns about the high school playoff system seemed rather trivial.

You may have noticed the New York Giants are having kind of a rough year. Coach Pat Shurmur has come under fire for his play-calling. Some want him fired.

Across America, General Motors plans to eliminate more than 14,000 jobs. Those folks probably won’t get the same severance package as an NFL coach.

There was a college football game over the weekend which featured a fight among players. Many were ejected. Suspensions loom. That’s a big deal to fans of those teams.

Our elected representatives are back in Washington to struggle over budget issues. What will happen, nobody knows, but the national debt is well into the trillions of dollars. My guess is the football fights gained more media attention in the towns of those teams than what’s happening in Washington.

Occasionally I’ll get a call or an email from a reader complaining about our coverage. People are generally quite reasonable — more so than you may think — but occasionally someone gets under my skin.

There was a journalist in the Middle East who was disliked by a certain country. So apparently, when he visited that country’s consulate, they killed him.

Some of you get on the officials at high school sports events. Mostly it’s good-natured, “c’mon ref” kind of stuff. But sometimes people can be mean and nasty.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, people are shooting at each other and everyone wonders what will happen if a war breaks out.

Sports is a good thing, even in tough times. It gives us an outlet, and a chance to vent. It gives us an opportunity to put aside our real-life concerns for a little while.

We get lost in the action, caught up in the emotion of urging on our favorite players or teams. We want to see whose strategy will prevail; who can impose their will on the opponent. We relish the dramatic endings and empathize with players after the tough defeats.

But sometimes, we ought to step back and remind ourselves that there are bigger things going on in the world. That these are, after all, games where players throw or kick balls. That we shouldn’t let sports get overly important. That we need to keep things in perspective.

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Contact Sports Editor Greg Brownell via email at brownell@poststar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @glensfallsse.


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