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April 10, 2009 - John Mehno

I was doing some work on Thursday afternoon and clicked the TV on for a moment. All of the Pittsburgh stations were in wall-to-wall coverage of the memorial service for the three city police officers who were killed in the line of duty last Saturday.

Later I turned on the radio to catch some of the Cardinals-Pirates game. Greg Brown mentioned that the scheduled game between Oakland and the Los Angeles Angels had been postponed due to the death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart. He had pitched on Wednesday night, then was killed by a hit-and-run driver on his way home from the game.

People who attended Thursday night's Penguins game were asked to contribute to the Fallen Heroes Fund, which will benefit the families of the police officers who died. The team expected something between $20,000 and $30,000. People contributed $67,000. The Pirates will have a similar collection at Monday afternoon's home opener. The Pirates will also wear Pittsburgh Police caps and a memorial sleeve patch on Monday. The caps and jerseys will be autographed and auctioned as a fund raiser.

It won't be long before people will be complaining about the Pirates' flaws. They'll be up in arms if the Penguins don't have a long run in the playoff. On the west coast, people will call talk shows and complain that the Angels don't have enough pitching. That's the way of the world. In a way, it's a comfort that we can fall back to our normal ways after taking such a jolt.

But days like Thursday remind how fragile this all is. And maybe the outcome of a game isn't quite as important as it otherwise seems. 

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