Bullying, lawsuits, criminal cases, drugs and tragedies - these are topics we read all too often in the sports pages these days. Unfortunately, it seems to be the world we live in today that the stories about people doing wrong take precedent over the stories about people doing something right.
While there are many national stories going around about the aforementioned issues in society (prime example being the saga in Miami), troubles hit too close to home over the past couple weeks after shootings and violence in Warren led to the final Warren G. Harding football game of the year being canceled.
Then there was the tragic car crash in Sharon, Pa. on Friday night that killed two high school football players, reminding us that life is too precious and too short.
There are so many good, positive stories in the world of sports happening that are being overshadowed by the negative ones.
A perfect example of this comes from Michigan where a middle school football team purposely stopped its offensive drive on the 1-yard line in order to give one of its teammates, a student with special needs, a chance to score a touchdown. The team's coach didn't know about it, but that one act changed many lives in the process.
These types of stories aren't heard often enough - sports teams giving back, or bringing joy to someone. Sports are supposed to be games of fun and camaraderie, not games surrounded by drugs, guns and bullying.
With that being said, the Tribune Chronicle is issuing a challenge to all sports teams in the area - it's time to give back. It's time for sports to be what they are intended to be - team activities that bring people closer together.
The challenge, if your team chooses to accept it, is to go out into your community and do something good, but the key is it has to be a selfless act. A type of pay it forward if you will.
Teams of all ages, sports and levels are welcomed to participate in this project. What your group chooses to do is completely up to you, but the focus is to do something that brings joy or betterment to people, all in the name of sports.
Maybe start a mentoring program for elementary students in your school district or contact the Salvation Army to volunteer over the holiday months. Hold a bake sale with the profits to go to a charity of your team's choice. The ideas and possibilities are endless.
While your team is doing this, take pictures and send them to the Tribune sports department at firstname.lastname@example.org. When sending, make sure to include a contact number so we can call the team leader and get some information about the project. Once per week, we will feature one of the teams and its charitable act in our sports pages.
While it's not curing cancer or ending world hunger, it's a start. And after all the bad news that's been going on lately, it's time to give people something good to read about.