From the sidelines
By Marty Gordon
Today is one of those days to remember what we don’t have in the sports world. By now, I would have probably umpired two dozen softball and baseball games and be watching my cherished Cubs set the stage for another World Series run. But Rona has taken that away from me.
I am like other sports fans and have found replays of old Hokie football games to pique my interest. There has also been this thing called the “I-racing” series. I never thought I would be watching people play video games. What has this world come to?
I miss my sports, and I now realize how big a role sports played in my life.
Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoy these older games, but I have to ask the ACC Network and ESPN to make it a little easier on me and others. Please place the date of the game on the top of the screen somewhere. I would like to know when it was played and who might even be on my television screen.
Summer has always meant baseball to me. I have worked in minor league baseball for five different teams and enjoyed many hot dogs and Thirsty Thursdays over the years. I have even announced my fair share of games. I miss it dearly and hope we will see a game or two before this summer is over.
I do remind you that after 9/11, it was baseball that brought this country back together. It was also after the shooting massacre at Virginia Tech that the New York Yankees played an exhibition game in Blacksburg.
I am sure there are many other recorded instances in which baseball has played a major role in this country’s healing. We need it again.
Now on the subject of fall football, there is a lot to analyze. For instance, whether we can safely put people in the seats at high school and college games and whether the close contact of the players themselves will put them in danger.
Rona is like a 6-5, 280-pound linebacker ready to sack the 2020 season in so many ways.
Question yourself in this case: Does the end justify the beginning? Can we live with ourselves if more people catch this virus and die because of sports?
Life and reality is that the answer may be “no.“ I do feel sorry for all the high schoolers who might lose out on the excitement of playing football. We also have to be concerned whether those same players will be physically in shape to play the sport.
Typically, the offseason is just as important as the season itself. Again, what is the end game?
My hope is that we can figure out a way to beat this virus both off and on the field of play. We do need a distraction to what is happening in life. But at what cost?
Let that set in for a moment and remember: Sports does provide some hope.