The old narrative about a troubled city/university/country uniting behind a sports team and riding success on the field to improvements in real life is quite tired and usually overblown. But here's an example of how sporting events have made an undeniable impact on the life of a city: after a six-week period in which the night-life declined precipitously in Torreón thanks to the massacre of ten partying teenagers on January 31, people began to hit the town with more gusto last week, thanks to el Tri coming to town to face off against North Korea, and the first game of the new baseball season. And there was much celebrating from restaurant owners.
Of course, the respite from the city's problems was only temporary; the baseball stadium is maybe a mile or so from my house, and for the second straight year, they kicked off the season with fireworks. And for the second straight year, people in my neighborhood hurried inside, think it was gunfire.