Storms remind us it's just a game

It's been a great week to be a sports fan in Atlanta.

The Hawks won their first-round playoff series against Orlando, the Atlanta Braves returned from a successful road trip out west, and the NFL, at least for the moment, got back to the business of football, not lockouts, with its annual draft.

Around Georgia, local high schools are in the process of crowning state champions as GHSA playoffs have begun

However, this week's violent storms should put things in perspective.

To see the devastation caused tornados and high winds should send us all a couple of reminders. Life is a precious gift, and we should count our blessing every day.

This weekend I will be able to go home, turn on the television, enjoy a cool drink and watch Jason Heyward bat for the Braves. Some people won't have luxury because there's no longer a place to call home.

Others will spend the weekend planning or attending funerals for loved ones and friends who didn't survive Mother Nature's wrath.

To see the pictures of Ringgold High School is gut wrenching. Years ago, I had the opportunity to cover a playoff baseball game in Ringgold when I was working for another paper.

'I also drove through the area many times on the way to my parent's lake home in Tennessee. I always found it to be a charming community.

I don't remember too much about the playoff series, but I do remember the people were friendly and loved their high school sports

Just across the Clayton Counry line in Spalding County, lives were lost, as more tornados ripped through the area.

There's no doubt they love their college football at the University of Alabama, but after a massive tornado came through Tuscaloosa this week, there are more important things on Tide fans minds than who is going to replace Julio Jones, the Falcons first-round draft pick when the season starts in September.

Sports can serve as a great way to heal after a tragedy. We have seen it hundreds of times before.

Communities like Spalding and Ringgold need baseball. Both schools are enjoying banner years.

Spalding is ranked No. 1 in the Class AAA poll and Ringgold No. 5. Both are hungry for state titles, and both have a pretty solid shot at winning it all.

Still, it won't be life or death for either program. Their communities have been through way too much this week.

Yes, it's playoff baseball, and plenty is at stake, but now more than ever, we have been reminded it really is just a game.

(Doug Gorman is sports editor of the Clayton News Daily and Henry Da)