Ivan Rabb, Jaylen Brown and Jordan Mathews chop up Cal's opening win over Rice

BERKELEY -- Ivan Rabb, Jaylen Brown and Jordan Mathews talk about Cal's season-opening win against Rice ...

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A Word on Paris

Before the game, the crowd of 10,530 stood for a moment of silence to honor the fallen in the terror attacks in Paris that occurred earlier that evening. I would be remiss if I did not mention the tragedy, and before the game, I offered a reflection on what our job -- as sports writers -- means in the grand scheme of things. I hope you'll indulge me, and perhaps, pause for a moment in your day, and reflect.

It's an awful day, a terrible day. Violence has become an all-too common tongue. On days like these, this is a tough profession.

Why write about sports -- about frivolities and distractions -- on a day like this? It's a question I ask myself after every mass shooting, every terrorist bomb. 

I think all of our hearts and minds are in Paris now, and I don't expect many to follow the rest of tonight's proceedings on the court.

But, on this day, sports and competition do play a role, a very small one. There's only so much the mind can take, only so much tragedy, before it ceases to function with any kind of agility or quickness. I am at that point. I sat at home tonight before the game, on my couch, watching CNN, and the horrors unfold in front of me. I could not move. I could not think. I was completely numb. Then, I put on my tie, my vest and my hat, and went to work.

We, the sports writers, do serve -- as I said -- a small role. "I always turn to the sports page first," said Earl Warren, "which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures." Today, man has failed. Reason has failed.

What if, but for a moment, we imagined that this -- this life -- was it? That there was no reward at the end, no trophy at the finish line?

What if this was all we got: Some warm beer, good company, a good game to watch, giving a helping hand, a kind word?

What if, for a moment, the entire world believed that? What if this, and we, were all there were? What if we all -- across the globe -- believed that?

For me, that's what sports is -- immediacy. It's now. It's what's happening on the court, the field, the diamond. It's exists in a moment.

So, as we all think about what's going on in Paris, I ask of you simply this: Try to make your little corner of the world a little better.

Hug your children tight. Call your best friend. Share a beer. Change a life. It's simple, really. And I'm lucky I've been able to do it.

I'm lucky that, in some small way, some of the articles I've written have gotten names of kids out there.

I'm not saying that any story I've written, any words that I've penned, have stopped wars. But if one coach sees one article and offers one kid, and that one kid gets a chance to go to school for free, to get an education, then, hey, I've changed my little corner of the world. It's not much, but it doesn't have to be. 

So, it could be that simple: Just make your little corner of the world better. Call your mother. Call your grandparents. Tell your cousins they made the right choice. Do something. Just don't do nothing.

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