The disturbing and horrifying tragedy that took place last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut shook not only its citizens but also the entire nation. As you all know by now, 6-year old Jack Pinto was buried wearing the jersey of his favorite football player; Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.
Yesterday, the Pro Bowler went up to the Pinto house in Newtown to spend some time with Jack’s family, giving Cruz a different outlook on life.
“When you visit a family that’s going through so much and facing so much turmoil in their lives; you meet the family, you see people and the things they’re going through, it helps you look at life through a different lens, like I said,” said Cruz. “It really changes your view and the way you used to look at things. It changes your view of it.”
Cruz spent a little over an hour with the family and friends of the Pinto’s and they talked about guess what? Football.
“I didn’t want to go in there and make a speech or anything,” he said. “I just wanted to go there and spend some time with them and be someone that they can talk to and be someone that they can vent to, talk about how much of fans they are to the team or different times where they watched the Super Bowl; I was sitting in the seat where the dad watched our Super Bowl last year. It was good.”
Cruz even spent time playing Madden 2013 with some of the other children in the neighborhood.
Imagine that; going through the most impossible time in your life, losing a child or friend at the age of six, yet football is your escape.
People say the reason why NFL ratings have sky rocketed these past few years is because it’s been America’s one day escape from tough times, especially the economy. Something about huddling around the television with the people closest to you and all sharing one common want; a favorite team’s victory.
We don’t know these players, they don’t us; but in a way we all are connected. Like Hurricane Sandy, even they were affected like all of us normal people were. With Newtown, they felt it again. Players have children, including Cruz, and an unspeakable tragedy like this brings them closer, realizing how lucky they are.
“Ever since it happened I’ve kind of been spending a little bit more time with her (his daughter Kennedy) and cherishing the little moments and times you get with her,” said Cruz. “You never know when that can be taken from you.”
While it seemed selfish of me to get upset watching the Giants get blown out by the Falcons last Sunday, I soon realized after reading Cruz’s quotes that even Newtown was watching.
Caring about Eli Manning throwing an interception and Lawrence Tynes missing a chip shot field goal. Why? Because no matter what, sports will always be there.
It breaks our hearts, it makes your rejoice, it even tears us up at times. While it may seem crazy to the non-sports fan, sports does get us through tough times. It brings our community together when we can all feel the same emotions over a football game.
Sports are magical no matter the situation. It will always be there to distract us from reality, and that’s just fine with me. Go Giants.