A photograph cannot erase the anger and despair of most of us. It will not overcome divisions that may seem insurmountable, especially now.
But it can remind us that pure goodness remains. And if you wish, you can find a common language in sports.
“When I saw that, it kind of blew my mind,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.
The top sports news you need to know every day, from NFL games to college sports scores.
She is the now widely shared photo and story of coal miner Michael McGuire, who wanted to be with his 3-year-old son when he first saw the Kentucky Blues. weekend — White battle is still in a minor form. his hands and face were covered with the same coal dust that stained his black and red beard.
The joy on the faces of father and son was recognizable to any sports fan. For most of us, our adoration and loyalty to certain teams and players is rooted in family, passed down through our parents, grandparents, and shared with friends.
Watch a game, talk about a team or a player, be interested in statistics and seasons. it’s not just to pass the time. They create memories that carry us through good times and bad, and give us something to share when we can’t think of anything else to say.
They are a way to connect us.
“We know the strength of basketball in our state,” Calipari said Tuesday. “What was it about? (McGuire) wanted to be there so bad that he was willing to go without showering, without changing, he just got in the car and drove because he was late to leave. It wasn’t because he wanted to be with his son. That’s why he did it.”
As cute as the photo is, it probably wouldn’t have made it past Kentucky fans if not for Wildcats strength and conditioning coach Mark Hill seeing it and sending it to Calipari.
For Calipari, meeting McGuire and his son was a homecoming. Now a multi-millionaire Hall of Fame coach, Calipari was a miner like his grandfather McGuire, who moved from Italy but to West Virginia.
MORE: Calipari tweeted a photo of Miner and his son during the game
QUESTION OF THE SEASON: North Carolina starts No. 1 in the USA TODAY College Basketball Coaches Poll
PREDICTION: Everything you need to know about the top 25 teams in the men’s preseason poll
Chalipari’s grandfather died some time ago. But the Kentucky coach recognized McGuire’s bond with his grandfather because of the sacrifices they both made for their families and decided to honor him through the bond he now shares with McGuire.
Sport. Especially basketball in Kentucky.
On Monday, Calipari tweeted a photo of McGuire and his son asking for help identifying them as he wanted VIP passes to the Rupp Arena game. Hours later, he was on the phone with McGwire’s wife, Molly.
He also tried to call Michael McGuire but was unable to get through as McGuire was back at work hundreds of feet underground.
From there, the story spread as the McGuire family was covered by national newspapers, CNN and the TODAY Show. The companies provided the family with everything from food, hotel accommodations and cars, Calipari said.
“Isn’t it nice for a quiet, unassuming guy like him to know that people love you and appreciate you standing up for us,” Calipari said.
But it is more than that. McGuire’s story strikes a similar chord because anyone who considers themselves a sports fan, which is most Americans, knows and can relate to the bonds that have been forged through basketball, first between McGuire and his son and now between McGuire and Calipari.
There will come a time, perhaps ten years from now, when McGuire and his son will disagree. But this photo will remind them that they will always have something to share.
A week ago, a lowly miner from Eastern Kentucky had nothing in common with a basketball coach whose success had brought him opportunities around the world. Now they do.
Sports have the same power for all of us. Even if nothing else.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY. Viral photo of miner and son at Kentucky game shows power sports should be together | Comments: