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March 2011 Archives

Some Of My Best Friends Are tears

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God bless you.
Please stop bashing the Miami Heat players because some of them cried in their locker room after they lost 87-86 to the Chicago Bulls at home recently.
Forget all that macho mess. Real men cry real tears.
Who among us has never cried because of something?
I've cried not just when I was very sad, but when I was very glad.
Sometimes, believe or not, I've cried and didn't even know the reason why.
No, I am no chronic crybaby. Sometimes, for whatever reasons, I have refused to cry when I had very good reasons to do so.
Once Heat star Dwyane Wade recruited free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh to sign with the Heat, they became instant favorites to win the title this year, next year and..... They started the season with a very underwhelming 9-8 record before they won 12 straight and 21 of 22. At one point early in the season, eight teams had better records than the Heat.
As of March 13, the Heat was 3-10 against the top five teams in the league. So when the Bulls completed a 3-0 sweep with that March 6 win before a television audience of millions, it was crying time.
Sportscasters all over America had a ball making fun of the Heat players after head coach Erik Spoelstra said "some of our players are in the locker room crying right now."
Many of us who are fighting life-and-death issues have cried early and often right along with our relatives, friends and other loved ones who pray for our healings.
Some of my best friends have always been tears. Now, can I get a witness? Two of the biggest lies people tell, though innocently, are "it doesn't do any good to complain" and "crying won't help."
Hey, complaining is the mother of progress. Imagine how worse off this world would be--maybe this world wouldn't even be--if not for complaints. And don't underestimate tears. They help healing. They are also some of the best SOS distress signals you'll find.
I have found a relief in tears that I could not find anywhere else on earth. My greatest joys and my worst pains have found adequate articulation in the linguistics of tears.
Tears have helped me vent tremendous anger and frustration and, believe it or now, helped keep me from hurting others as well as myself.
Tears define us human beings and distinguishes us from animals.
I've seen every member of my immediate family cry and often we cried together, with me crying the loudest and longest.
In my 45 years as a professional journalist and in my 58 years as a Baptist preacher, I have seen many a sinner and many a saint cry. I've seen people cry at weddings as well as funerals, in times of victory and in times of defeat. in times of anger and in times of ecstasy.
I saw Muhammad Ali cry March 8, 1971,when he suffered his first professional defeat at the hands of "Smokin'" Joe Frazier in Madison Square Garden. I sat ringside and covered the fight as the sports editor of Ebony magazine. And, yes, I cried, too, when I saw the People's Champion get whipped.
I saw Larry Holmes cry the night he beat Ali on Oct. 2, 1980, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Then 14 months later, I saw Trevor Berbick cry after he mercifully beat Ali in Nassau, Bahamas, to send "the Greatest" into his final retirement.
I saw Michael Jordan cry on June 12 1991, the night he led the Bulls to their first of six championships.
Among others I have personally seen cry are Mike Tyson, Scottie Pippen, Jesse Jackson, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas and Shaquille O'Neal.
And you can bet that champagne isn't the only liquid flowing in locker rooms after teams win national and world championships.
So please never be shamed of tears. They are a blessing. Our blessing. Cry if you want to cry. Heaven help us when we can no longer cry or when nobody wants to cry for us.
God bless you.

Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



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This page is an archive of entries from March 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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