Sports is often pretty insignificant in the overall picture and you can certainly make an argument that as a society we go way overboard in how we view its importance.  In the best-case scenario it’s a diversion and escape from everyday reality, a form of entertainment that can bring people and groups together.

Of course we know it’s more than that and we often get wrapped up in thinking that a game is more important than it really is. For example Eagles fans will feel like they are walking on water today while those that root for the Giants and Jets will go through their day like they’re stuck in the mud.  However what Sunday really gave us was not wins and losses but a reminder that sports, like life itself, can bring great sadness.

Jose Fernandez was supposed to pitch for the Miami Marlins yesterday against the Atlanta but his start was pushed back a day so he could face the Mets, who are fighting for a playoff spot.  With the day off from pitching Fernandez and two other buddies went out in a 32-foot fishing boat in the early morning hours. Their boat would later crash into a jetty off Miami Beach killing all three.

Fernandez, who finally escaped Cuba on his fourth attempt at the age of 15 and just became a U.S. citizen last year, was just 24 years old.  He was not only one of baseball’s brightest young stars but from all accounts a bubbly, joyful person who loved people, especially kids.  Just last week he announced happily that his girlfriend was pregnant.

Unlike Fernandez Arnold Palmer got to live a full life and realize all his hopes and dreams but his death later in the day at the age of 87 is sad for a different reason.

The man most responsible for what golf is today was one of those you thought would never die. After all he was “The King.”  Palmer was a fan favorite who came along at the same time as live TV coverage of golf and the two were a perfect match even well into his 80s when Arnie showed up people flocked to him.

Ironically in the last four months the sports world has lost three of its greatest ever in Palmer, Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe.