Sports Unable To Heal Small Town Following Tragedy

Top Headlines


Entire Broncos Organization Announces Retirement After Super Bowl Win

‘There’s Nothing Better Than Going Out On Top,’ Says Every Denver Player, Coach, Executive, Trainer, Office Administrator, Janitor

SANTA CLARA, CA—Following the team’s 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, every single member of the Denver Broncos organization officially announced their retirement Sunday.

Family, Friends Concerned After Peyton Manning Wanders Away From Pocket

SANTA CLARA, CA—Admitting to being “worried sick” after realizing he had suddenly disappeared in the middle of a play, family and friends of Peyton Manning grew incredibly concerned Sunday after the veteran Denver Broncos quarterback wandered away from the pocket during the first quarter of Super Bowl 50, sources confirmed.

NFL Vows To Fix Bottomless Pit On Levi’s Stadium Field Before Super Bowl

SANTA CLARA, CA—Following persistent safety concerns regarding the playing surface throughout the regular season, the NFL made firm assurances Friday to both the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers that the bottomless pit in the middle of the field at Levi’s Stadium will be fully repaired before Super Bowl 50.

Area Man Would Hate Cam Newton Even If He Was Different Minority

MURRAY, KY—Adamantly stressing that his disdain for the 26-year-old quarterback is not based on any racial prejudice toward African Americans, local 49-year-old Michael Willet told reporters Friday that he would hate Cam Newton even if the Carolina Panthers star was a different minority.

Rex, Rob Ryan Finally Get Bunk Beds They Always Wanted

BUFFALO, NY—Howling with excitement after seeing the brand-new furniture set in the corner of the bedroom they now share, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan and his twin brother, recently hired Bills assistant head coach Rob Ryan, finally got the bunk beds they always wanted, sources confirmed Monday.

NCAA Investigating God For Giving Gifts To Athletes

INDIANAPOLIS—Amid a new scandal that many are already calling the most damaging in the history of collegiate sports, the NCAA announced Tuesday that it has launched an investigation into God, Divine Creator of Heaven and Earth, for allegedly giving gifts to student-athletes.

Defunct 4-Year-Old Sports Blog Still Lurking On Internet

FORT COLLINS, CO—Noting that the site devoted to the Colorado Rockies and their minor league affiliates had long ceased being updated without any explanation, sources confirmed Friday that local man Ben Gutowski’s defunct four-year-old sports blog, “The Rockies Report,” was still quietly lurking on the internet.

BCS Computer Takes Over Every Screen In Country During College Football National Championship Game

‘BCS Will Live Forever,’ Reads Text Suddenly Appearing On All Televisions, Computers, Phones Simultaneously

GLENDALE, AZ—Noting that all television feeds and online streams suddenly cut out simultaneously, sources confirmed that the BCS computer took over every single screen in the United States midway through Monday evening’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson.

Grizzly Bear Catches Spawning Michael Phelps In Jaws

KENAI, AK—Sitting on a rock atop the powerful, churning rapids, a grizzly bear reportedly caught Michael Phelps in its jaws Tuesday as the sexually mature Olympian leaped out of the water while swimming upstream to spawn.

Area Dad Thinks Refs Should Just Let Them Play Football

DOYLESTOWN, PA—Facetiously questioning how the game had suddenly become a non-contact sport, local father Aaron Harper confirmed his belief Thursday that referees officiating a Thanksgiving game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions should just let them play football out there.

Punter Just Praying Returner Doesn’t Make It All The Way To Him

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Growing increasingly nervous as he contemplated being the team’s last line of defense, Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern was reportedly praying Thursday that Jacksonville Jaguars returner Rashad Greene wouldn’t make it all the way down the field to him.

Defensive Tackle’s Innocence Shattered By Play-Action Pass

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Saying the eye-opening experience has forever altered his worldview, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus admitted to reporters Friday that a play-action pass play by the New York Jets had totally shattered his youthful innocence.

Royals Prove Doubters Who Were Still Paying Attention Wrong

NEW YORK—Having capped off their championship run with a 7-2 victory over the New York Mets in Game 5 Sunday night, members of the Kansas City Royals expressed their delight at silencing the doubters who still happened to be paying any attention to the World Series.

Keys To The Matchup: Mets vs. Royals

The Mets face the Royals in this year’s Fall Classic, with the two teams battling for the chance to bring World Series glory back to either Kansas City or incredibly small pockets of New York. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

The Mets face the Royals in this year’s Fall Classic, with the two teams battling for the chance to bring World Series glory back to either Kansas City or incredibly small pockets of New York. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

LITTLE ELM, TX—With neither team having completed more than two hits during a rally before sending the ball back over the net, sources confirmed Wednesday that no one in Jefferson High School’s third-period gym class was willing to set during a volleyball game.

Strongside/Weakside: Chase Utley

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has long been considered one of the best players in baseball, consistently making clean, solid contact with opponents’ fibulas. Is he any good?

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has long been considered one of the best players in baseball, consistently making clean, solid contact with opponents’ fibulas. Is he any good?

Jadeveon Clowney Succumbs To Battle With Ankle Sprain

HOUSTON—Noting that the 22-year-old was a “wonderful young man who will be immensely missed by all who knew him,” the Houston Texans announced Thursday that linebacker Jadeveon Clowney tragically succumbed to his battle with a right-ankle sprain.

Strongside/Weakside: Odell Beckham Jr.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has tormented opposing defenders with his dazzling one-handed punches. Is he any good?

Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has tormented opposing defenders with his dazzling one-handed punches. Is he any good?

WNBA MVP Devastated After Roommate Moves Out Without Any Warning

CHICAGO—Saying she is now desperately searching for any options that will prevent her from being evicted, Chicago Sky forward and 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne was reportedly left scrambling Thursday after her roommate moved out of their apartment without any warning whatsoever.

Strongside/Weakside: Chip Kelly

Known as one of the most innovative minds in football, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has implemented an offense that racks up huge numbers in the loss column. Is he any good?

Billy Crystal Tearfully Admits He’s Never Seen, Been To A Yankees Game

‘I Don’t Even Know What The Yankees Are,’ Crystal Says

NEW YORK—Admitting that he could simply no longer continue living a lie, veteran actor, comedian, and self-professed New York Yankees fanatic Billy Crystal tearfully confessed Thursday that he has never seen or attended a single Yankees game in his life, and indeed has absolutely no idea who or what the Yankees even are.

New LSU Stadium Shuttle Transports Tigers Fans Back To Woods

BATON ROUGE, LA—Saying that they hope to make traveling to and from football games more convenient and enjoyable, officials from the LSU athletic department announced Friday that the university will now offer a round-trip stadium shuttle bus to transport Tigers fans back to the woods.

Strongside/Weakside: Marcus Mariota

With an incredible four-touchdown performance to start his NFL career, rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota showed that he has what it takes to be the Tennessee Titans’ new silver lining. Is he any good?

With an incredible four-touchdown performance to start his NFL career, rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota showed that he has what it takes to be the Tennessee Titans’ new silver lining. Is he any good?

Giants Move Tom Coughlin To Assisted-Coaching Facility

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Saying that they held off taking such a drastic step for as long as they could, officials from the New York Giants confirmed Wednesday that the team had made the difficult decision to move head coach Tom Coughlin into an assisted-coaching facility.

2015 NFL Season Preview

The 2015 NFL season is poised to be among the most memorable and eventful in league history, with several of the notable moments hopefully occurring on the field. Onion Sports breaks down everything you need to know before the season kicks off.

Jayson Werth Catches Foul Ball Without Spilling Beer

WASHINGTON—In an incredible play that drew cheers from the whole stadium, Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth managed to catch a foul ball Tuesday night without spilling the beer he was holding in his other hand.

Strongside/Weakside: Serena Williams

Serena Williams is aiming to clinch a historic calendar Grand Slam at this year’s U.S. Open, forever enshrining her as the last American tennis player worth talking about. Is she any good?

Journeyman Fan Joins Sixth NFL Team In 5 Years

HELENA, MT—Continuing his lengthy trek around the league, sources confirmed Friday that 36-year-old journeyman fan Brian Ferretti has joined the Arizona Cardinals, his sixth team in the past five years.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage


Sports Unable To Heal Small Town Following Tragedy

MILL RUN, PA—In a town where residents are still in shock over last Sunday's brutal mass slaying, in which a mentally disturbed man shot 17 men, women, and children in Main Street's St. John The Baptist Church before turning his shotgun on himself, last night's County League baseball game against longtime rival Uniontown was completely ineffective in mending the hurt and despair felt by those in the area.

According to those in attendance, even after the supposed natural healing powers of pitches, hits, stolen bases, ground balls, and bunts, the shooting—the first in Mill Run in over 10 years and easily the most deadly criminal incident in Mill Run's history— remained fresh and raw in the town's collective consciousness. Mill Run lost the game 7-4, though many at the game say they were still in shock over the shooting and were therefore not aware of the final score.

"I still miss my brother and my sister-in-law," still-shaken hardware store owner John Geary said after the ultimately non-therapeutic sporting event. "God, I miss them so much. Even that double by Josh [Thurman] in the fifth [inning] really didn't make me feel any better about some madman shooting them. In fact, I felt worse, because for the brief second I cheered, I almost forgot that I'll never see Randy and Melissa again, that Father Corrigan isn't supposed to ever regain consciousness, and that some of the children in this community are now parentless."

"Cheering for a stupid double in a stupid baseball game after everything that happened," Geary added. "What kind of idiot am I? Why did they even play this game?"

Mill Run mayor Frank Shultz said the game was not canceled due to his mistaken belief  in the "healing power of sports" to "make everything better."

"Obviously, I couldn't have been more wrong," Shultz, who doesn't plan on attending another sporting event for a long time, told reporters after the game. "And I officially apologize to all the citizens, who need professional help, spiritual guidance, and each other's love and company far more than they needed a stupid baseball game."

"Everyone wants everything to go back to the way it was, but seeing as how a man killed 17 people in our church and then shot himself, I think I would much rather admit that things are completely abnormal at the moment than pretend that I care if we make the playoffs," said resident Diane Ward, 47, who said her shock and grief were in no way blunted by a crisply executed double play in the seventh inning.

Locals reportedly watched in shocked silence throughout the entire game, rarely reacting to the play on the field, and never with much enthusiasm. No one interviewed afterwards believed that the sight of the team taking the field was symbolic of the town's will to "continue on," took any solace whatsoever in the collective singing of the national anthem, or thought the moment of silence before the game's first pitch was "moving," considering that it occurred at the trivial and relatively unimportant site of Town Baseball Field #5 and not a more dignified location.

In fact, attendees said, at no point did anyone suffering from the pain and despair created by the massive murder-suicide, a tragedy that will forever alter this town's way of life, feel any less miserable because of the nine-inning baseball game.

"It's just baseball," said Tracey Wallace, 11, who lost both parents and her older brother in the slaying and reportedly had to be sedated to stop her convulsive sobbing after she was asked if she would like to throw out a "healing" first pitch. "Not Daddy alive again. Not Mommy back. Just baseball."

The baseball game's inability to heal the town came as a shock to many in the sports and sports-entertainment media. According to every single ESPN correspondent, Sports Illustrated editor, and every nationally known sports columnist, over the last six years the spectacle of sports has invariably allowed individuals, communities, and entire nations to almost instantly heal, and in some cases, apparently skip altogether the normal years-long grieving process that accompanies a monumental tragedy.

"I don't know what's wrong with these people," Daily News columnist Mike Lupica said on Sunday's edition of ESPN's The Sports Reporters. "Maybe they just didn't understand what was supposed to happen. First, the group experience of watching the game was supposed to show the town how strong they were/are as a community. Second, with that newfound strength, it was their role to realize they could overcome any type of tragedy as long as they have one another. Third, while the game was going on, if they observed anything positive from the home team—a clutch hit, a home run, or a well-fielded ground ball—it was the duty of those in attendance to have the epiphany that their deceased loved ones were watching from above, cheering them on from heaven, and that everyone on Earth could and should now move on."

"And most of all, those in attendance would leave the game completely healed so that everyone could see how beautiful it was that, with the aid of the eternal magic of baseball, this town was capable of healing," Lupica added. "Mill Run screwed that one up. I think these people are letting this whole church murder thing get in the way of what's really important."

Mill Run resident Tommy Shroyer, who was in the church at the time of the shooting, disagreed with Lupica, saying, "Believe me, I didn't feel that anybody was watching us from above. I felt really sad, like I was doing something stupid, because if they were watching they were probably wondering what the fuck we were doing at a baseball game."

According to Denver Post sports columnist Woody Paige, the area doesn't need time to reflect upon the tragedy.

"These sad sacks simply need more sports," Paige wrote in a piece that received over 500 positive e-mails from fans nationwide in less then two hours. "I recommend the town's mayor get his town healed by adding 20 more County League baseball games, moving up the start date of the high-school football season, and bringing players from the Pittsburgh Steelers into the school gymnasium to play a fun and heartwarming game of mandatory celebrity donkey basketball. Sports is going to heal these people whether they want it to or not."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close