I'm an "American" fan of the English Premier League -- meaning I enjoy it a great deal, but the sport isn't in my marrow the way baseball or American football are. Nonetheless, I am aware of its history -- including tragedies we've rarely encountered in this country.
In 1989, at an FA Cup Semifinal at a stadium known as Hillsborough in Sheffield, England Liverpool played Nottingham Forest (like the Super Bowl, the game was at a "neutral" venue).
At the time, many fans were stacked -- standing up -- into places known as terraces, kept off the field by fencing.
Because of sloppy work by the authorities a crush of Liverpool fans was stacked haphazardly into one section, six minutes into the game, the action as stopped and 96 people were dead or destined to die from being crushed to death.
The police and the Thatcher Administration immediately, and wrongly blamed Liverpools fans for the deaths.
This was a lie -- they knew it to be a lie -- but they blamed them anyway.
It took more than two decades for the truth to come out.
ESPN has what purportedly is an amazing documentary on the subject tonight at 7 p.m. Central
Watch it, not for the sports, but the the too familiar story of negligence covered up and lies perpetuated the the government that is supposed to serve the interests of its people.
Meanwhile, in Liverpool, at it's home stadium of Anfield, one of the most moving spectacles in sport occurred on Sunday.
Watch this...as their traditional song is cried out and the 96 victims are remembered. And be moved. Of all the traditions I have seen in sports that I would like to see just once in my life, it is this...and it never meant more than yesterday.