Life can render sports emotionally irrelevant and, in moments like Tuesday night, almost misguided.
When the news was revealed that the nearly 14-year-old son of Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery will have a mass removed from his thyroid, it made the streak of five losses in six games vanish in the wake of what truly matters.
Troubles related to defense and clutch shooting were easily brushed aside by what always should command our most rapt attention.
Iowa fans concerned about the late stretch of games for the Hawkeyes should reserve real worry for something that is a true must-win – in a world where the phrase is used far too flippantly.
Patrick McCaffery is scheduled for surgery March 19 to remove the tumor as doctors work to determine if it’s benign or malignant. McCaffery, Iowa’s coach, was informed of his son’s condition before the team’s March 6 game at Michigan State. McCaffery and his wife, Margaret, are the parents of four children.
Those dotting the edges of a Division I basketball program – boosters, fans, media – focus intently on the competitive ups and downs, analyzing each dribble and decision. Truth is, the universities want us to care, the coaches want us to care, and the players want us to care. Lack of buzz usually signals irrelevance.
There are moments, though – like Tuesday – when we’re delivered a sobering reminder that million-dollar contracts and national television exposure offer no protection from the fragile realities of life.
There’s a sense that granite-eyed coaches are impervious to the pains and pitfalls so many others face as we cheer for the teams we follow.
Sometimes, however, we need to root like crazy for the person on the sidelines, too.
Bryce Miller can be reached at 515-284-8288 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Bryce_A_Miller
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball