Friday, May 02, 2008

A Different Kind of Sport

In another kind of synchronicity, on the same day I heard the story about the softball players, I played the episode of Food Network's "Challenge: Surprise Engagement Cake". For those of you unfamiliar with "Challenge", four teams compete over several hours in front of a live audience to create some sort of cake or dish. In this challenge, a gentleman had convinced his girlfriend to attend with him, telling her they were going to participate in the challenge, perhaps as assistants. In fact, he proposed to her and the challenge for the teams was to create an engagement cake - at least three feet tall - for them. As regular viewers know, sometimes the most interesting part can be when they have to move the cake to the judging table. Anyway, one of the contestants Marina Sousa, was looking pretty flushed and mentioned not feeling so well. Everyone kept commenting she looked a little stressed out. And then, a few hours in to the event, she passed out. The other contestants stopped, medical assistance was called for, and she ended up be taken away in an ambulance. Since they were teams of two, her teammate Dawn Nemec remained and the judges kindly asked her if she felt able to go on. She did. And Jason and Joshua Russell - from a competing team looked at each other and went up to her together to say that they could help. Their cake was mostly completed, and as one of them said, they were tired of looking at their cake anyway. So they helped Dawn complete the cake and get it carried to the table, in addition to finishing up their own.
In the end, neither team won, but it was a lovely example of how teamwork and generosity can extend outside the ballpark.