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Jose Fernandez and the Importance of Sports

They are just a game, folks

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

No, Jose Fernandez has never donned a spoked 'B' on his chest or made a living from a game involving rubber circles and frozen water.

Jose Fernandez, one of the premier pitchers in Major League Baseball, baffled hitters with a complete arsenal, including a curveball that routinely buckled the knees of hitters. He won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2013 and was considered the future of the Miami Marlins. Fernandez tragically passed away two days prior from a boating accident off of the coast of Florida.

Fernandez was so much more than just a pitcher. He genuinely loved life. He was a joyous, passionate, and funny individual. A true family man, he and his grandmother had an inseparable bond. He announced on Instagram that his girlfriend is pregnant with the couple's first child last week. A powerful video of Fernandez reuniting with his grandmother can be viewed below, courtesy of MLB:

Athletes nowadays are viewed as celebrities rather than normal human beings who happen to work very hard to maximize their extreme talent at a certain game. It's easy to lose track of who athletes truly are; after all, the only venue that those away from the game view these individuals is  the workplace. Oftentimes, these individuals are the subject of fierce criticism or overwhelming praise depending on their level of play at the time. Their work is constantly scrutinized, yet they are people with families and emotions. Their athletic ability and celebrity status doesn't stop bad things from happening to them.

Athletes play a game. That's exactly sports are: a game. A source of entertainment. Sure, they can fill us with wonder, jaw open wide while butterflies fluttering around rapidly in our stomach as we watch our favorite player score a goal in overtime or hit a walk-off home run. Some things are just bigger than the game. In this case, the world lost an incredible young man. For all of the unforgettable memories, both glorious and gut wrenching, we cannot forget that sports are just no more than a source of entertainment.