COLUMN: Sports may be gone for the year but how upset should we be?

Leesville Daily Leader

Baseball and softball season is my favorite time of the year – sunflowers seeds, the crack of aluminum bats, no cheerleaders in my way while I’m trying to take photos, etc.

However, life – COVID 19 – has put it all on hold, and we all have to deal with it. 

As of Wednesday night, all games have been put on hold until April 14. Louisiana should consider itself lucky because states across the country have thrown in the towel on the whole season. If I’m being honest, I expect Louisiana to do the same before it is all said-and-done.

The negatives are glaring – senior seasons thrown away, some kids may miss out on being recruited, and of course, baseball and softball are so much fun.

I think about the teams I cover, and I’m disappointed I won’t get to see some of the great players play again before I leave. I wanted to see if Pitkin can get back to state, will Simpson pick up where they left off, will South Beauregard keep rolling out studs throughout their line up and if I look around for my seeds, how many Rosepine Lady Eagles home runs will I miss? Probably nine. Seriously, those girls must all live in a weight room. 

My wife and I were supposed to PCS in early April, and our plans have been put on hold, too. I was not expecting to be here for a whole season but just enough to get my fix. My life, like athletes, has been completely altered. 

However, there are positives. 

It’s hard to see because, like I eloquently put at the beginning of this column, it sucks. 

We are in the middle of a world-wide pandemic and how we react to it will affect the history of the world. That’s crazy to think about.

If we, as a country, decide that for two months, we are going to hang out in our homes instead of going to bars, restaurants or going to games, we can save lives.

Chances are that young, healthy, high school kids are not going to get that sick if they even show symptoms at all. But it’s not about you. It’s about your parents, grandparents and people that are sick. 

We’ve all seen the PSAs from different health organizations about flattening the curve, and we know it’s important. My best advice would be to lean into it. Go ahead and be mad, but stay at home and away from people better than anyone else.

The closest thing I can compare this to is when I was a junior in high school, and I found out I had a broken vertebrae in my lower back. It hurt when I ran and did anything, and by the time I got to a specialist, the pain barely registered. So, when the specialist told me I would need to be in a back brace for eight weeks, I said “no, I can’t miss the first three weeks of the baseball season.” 

I never got that brace and as I slowly slip into my 30s, I can’t think of many bigger regrets in my life as I’ve shrunk an inch and half and my back hurts doing normal things. Now think of putting that back brace on everyone in America, and they get to live a long, healthy life.

Side note: During warmups of my first game after saying no to the brace, I slipped on wet grass and pulled my hamstring. I missed the first three weeks anyway. That’s a 100 percent true story.

Hopefully, everything goes perfect, and players can take the field in mid-April. That would be amazing for everyone because we get back to normal. If we don’t, let's be mad but smart at the same time.