I know most of your readers are American, but for those who follow cricket on here, a difficult but extraordinary week has ended. I thought it might be appropriate for the board to at least note the passing of the young Australian cricketer, Phillip Hughes.
A promising, charismatic and thrillingly unorthodox batsman, he was struck in the neck by cricket ball whilst batting in a match on Tuesday and died on Thursday. He was the equivalent, I think, of MLB's most prodigious young hitter. More than that, the bowler is also young and full of potential. The grief is therefore partly for Sean Abbott, who was simply bowling as aggressively as possible.
A twitter-inspired #putoutyourbats gesture broke out in all cricket-playing nations, whereby cricket bats were placed outside houses, businesses, schools and parliaments. Players of other sports - first division soccer - walked out to play with a cricket bat in hand. Before the rugby international in England, the crowd stood and applauded for 63 seconds (63 was the score when Hughes was struck).
The death of young charisma is not alien to readers of this board; the grief has been profound in many countries. But a question is also being posed: how does sports/entertainment respond to the deaths of its heroes? This weekend has probably seen a record low number of dangerous deliveries at batsmen; crowds will probably never laugh and jeer when a batsmen gets hit again. But will the game change? How much should we ask our sportsmen to risk? Do we take their bravery for granted? Are symbolic gestures of grief enough?
In terms of pro-wrestling, I think the answer is undoubtedly and unfortunately "yes".
I don't pretend to follow anything in that e-mail, but people really make fun of guys for getting hit in cricket? That's pretty messed up, man.