Negley's Nook: Relying on sports for comfort
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 12:10
I went to bed Friday night thinking I would enjoy a relatively quiet Saturday.
Chocolate chip pancakes for a late breakfast, a little work at the men’s soccer game and then maybe enjoying some college football with friends.
I woke up early Saturday morning to phone calls, text messages and my housemate pounding on my door to tell me there was an emergency at The Stylus and my coworkers needed me. I rolled out of bed, reaching for my phone, not realizing the phone wouldn’t leave my side or come off its loud, obnoxious ringtone for the rest of the weekend.
My Saturday didn’t consist of delicious chocolate chip pancakes in front of SportsCenter. Instead, I stuffed pancakes down so I’d at least have eaten a little something for the rest of the day.
My Saturday didn’t consist of Brockport taking on New Paltz, or any sporting event for that matter. Instead, I ran around the Monroe County Police buildings, searching for a press conference where it would be announced a murder occurred in my freshman residence hall, right in the center of campus.
Alexandra Kogut was 18. A young woman just starting to experience college life. She was a student athlete, recruited to swim for the school. She would have taken to the pool for her first swim as a college athlete Oct. 13.
I most likely would have seen her there, or at her first home meet, would have noticed her on the roster, would have written her name at some point and would have talked with her for stories.
I’m no longer given that opportunity.
Just like the swimming and diving team is no longer given the opportunity to know its teammate better.
No one wants to lose a teammate the way the swimming and diving team lost theirs, so tragically and suddenly.
But when tragedy does hit, it’s nice to have a team to fall back on and mourn with.
According to members of the team, it had a meeting Saturday morning with faculty members there for support.
Since then, one member of the team says the team has come together and stayed together.
Some off-campus members have made signs and hung Brockport Swimming banners from their homes in remembrance.
One house has banners that read: “Always Love, Never Forget. B-Port swimming. We are 1. <3 Alex.”
There is absolutely nothing that can be said that makes this better. The one thing that can be said is this team is strong and has each other.
There’s power in that. Safety in that. Solace in that.
Sports are a perfect way to escape life and at the same time deal with life. The entire Brockport community is dealing with what happened in the early hours of Saturday morning. Shades are drawn on McLean Hall, banners hang on houses in the village and social media is cluttered with well wishes, thoughts and prayers.
For those who aren’t a part of those teams, who don’t have that to fall back on, there is sports to escape from.
Covering a story such as this isn’t easy. There are facts to report, people to call, feelings to consider and ethics to keep in check. Not everyone is going to be happy and not everyone will agree. So at the end of those long days, if the end can ever be found, it’s nice to think there is sports to go home to.
Some people will go home and curl up with a TV drama. Some will have milkshakes with friends, and dance around like goofballs with the video camera (which I also did).
It’s not insensitive, it’s just coping and finding an escape — at least for three hours.
A football game to watch with poor referee calls to worry about instead of poor judgement. A playoff race to keep track of instead of a timeline of events.
A player who wasn’t taken from the world far too young instead of stories of a woman tragically stolen from her life.
*ORIGINALLY Printed Oct. 3