Philadelphia Flyers: Oskar Lindblom’s illness puts sports into perspective

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

With news breaking on Friday that Philadelphia Flyers winger Oskar Lindblom has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, it’s an appropriate time for all of us to put sports into perspective.

Many are obsessed with sports. From websites like this one to huge corporate behemoths, the massive interest in them translates into big business and big dollars.

It’s an obsession that can make it easy to forget that the people who play these games we love are human beings who have to deal with the same human issues that all of us do.

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So when terrible news comes out like the diagnosis we were given regarding Oskar Lindblom of the Philadelphia Flyers, it has a tendency to act as a sobering reminder for all of us.

We all profess to “love” certain teams and players while “hating” others. I am not immune to this. Not by a long shot. But no matter what uniform a player wears and what city/region they represent, in the end, these athletes are just people like you and me. People who will, at some time or another, be faced with great adversity in their lives.

Now is that time for Oskar Lindblom.

It’s shocking to hear about a 23-year old young man in peak physical shape being stricken with something that threatens to derail his promising career and, it cannot be ignored, potentially put his very life in peril.

But you can be sure that Lindblom will receive the best possible medical care and stands as good a chance as any to pick up where he left off once he triumphs. We can’t even entertain notions of him back in a Flyers uniform right now, though. That idea is secondary to the fight that lies ahead.

This goes beyond the Flyers. Beyond hockey. Beyond sports and our little cocoon where we can cheer and boo and write silly articles about what happened on the ice or field or court.

But do you know what sports do? They have a way of bringing people and communities together. They foster the kind of support system that will be in Oskar’s corner for every step of what is to come. It doesn’t totally alleviate a frightening situation, but we all can attest firsthand how a closeness to others can help tremendously.

The Philadelphia Flyers have seen more than their fair share of tragedy throughout team history, and I probably don’t need to go into specific detail. After all, this is about staying positive in the face of adversity.

Lindblom’s teammates and fans will miss him tremendously during his convalescence, all while keeping up the hope that we will see him back in Orange and Black sooner rather than later. Until then, let’s all be there for Oskar.

I’m not making any earth-shattering observations here. Love one another. Especially when someone needs it like this young man does right now.

Oskar Lindblom is not the first athlete to go through this, and he will not be the last.

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Let this serve as one of those unfortunate periodic reminders to all of us that sports, as much as we might live and breathe them, are secondary to the actual people who play them.