Hopefully, perspective is gained from any life experience, and while the argument over the specific value of a professional athlete or the funding of college sports is still up for debate, one thing is certain.
We need sports for a balanced life.
Much like the arts, exercise, fishing or a good chicken fried steak, a satisfying life is made up of multiple experiences. Certainly, cheering for your favorite team or yelling at a TV referee who you are sure is on the Patriots payroll is a necessity.
Living through this pandemic has taught us many things and unfortunately the life lesson is far from over, but the one thing I think is clear is that the majority of us really needs sports to one degree or another.
We miss the fellowship and even if that is not possible in the stands, we miss being able to discuss it over the phone or in the office or on social media through memes or good natured trash talk.
I understand getting hundreds in a high school stadium or gym has not been a good idea until now and possibly for the foreseeable future, but we need to get working on possible solutions to ease us into a “normalcy” that involves sports on all levels.
Obviously, high school sports will revolve around when and how classes resume and probably not until the fall but there are some rumblings about special rules and summer activities. I support that if we can do it with minimal risk to the athletes.
High school football is very important to all of our communities, and while that seems like a long way off, practice begins in three months or so. College football is a way of life in the South and almost a religion. We need to figure out how to safely get this fix or there will be withdrawals and a depression fall over Alabama and Texas that could affect those folks for years.
America needs baseball, at all levels.
From little kids who play with bugs in the outfield and helmets bigger than their heads to the sand lots and pro stadiums across this land, we need baseball. Quickly, we need to figure out how to get games going in pro stadiums, even without fans for a while, so we can salvage the season. In my opinion, starting too far after the all star break will result in a forfeited year and a tragedy for the history books.
Baseball is already one of the most socially distant games there is with almost no contact and players well apart except at the plate or on base, and even that is usually spaced. In the dugout, we could space out and use masks for a while. Spectators could be banned for a few weeks and then slowly phased in until we felt safe association was allowable, but we need games being played and televised.
The NFL released their “proposed” schedule last week, and it made me think how much we need sports, now. If we are to have an NFL season this year, the process starts now to begin ramping up plans to systematically and safely bring sports back online.
Understandably, any sports now will probably be a bit different with no spectators (like NASCAR is doing with no fans in the stands for a while), but we should be able to do things safely and open them up over weeks and months so that many Americans can get their fix and avoid the inevitable depression that spawns in a life without sports.
Go Liberators, Bearcats, Royals and Chiefs! We need you.