Dear Athletic Support: I’m sick of hearing about COVID-19. Every time I turn on the news or the radio, that’s all they talk about. Even my favorite sports shows are still harping on this junk. A sports show — just like a sports column — should focus on SPORTS. Even if there aren’t any games going on right now, surely you can think up something better to talk about than that dumb virus. What’s the deal? — Sick Of It!
Dear Sick: You know what? I’m sick of it, too.
Luckily, I’m not sick in the literal sense, and I’m guessing you’re not either. Which is good for both of us. There are, however, thousands upon thousands of really sick people in America. The cases in some places (like my home state of Arkansas) are higher than ever. Regardless of all this, sports are still starting up again.
As the death toll rises, youth-league baseballers and softballers are stepping back on the diamond. High school athletes are making their way back into the gyms and weight rooms for summer workouts.
And listen, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong — or right — about this; I’m just saying it’s weird. It’s unprecedented. So we’re going to be talking about it for a long, long time. Even when sports come back full swing, they won’t be the same.
Half-full stadiums. Pitchers wearing masks. College football season put on hold! And you know what the announcers, broadcasters and radio personalities will be talking about?
Of course, you do.
Call for questions: If you enjoy “Athletic Support,” please consider taking the time to send in a question. My contact information is listed at the bottom of every column. Lately, I’ve been receiving fewer and fewer questions, and I can probably guess why.
There are much bigger things going on in our world than a weekly sports-advice column. But I’ve always ascribed to the belief that sports are a mirror of any society, a window into the hearts and souls of the people.
Take for example the last few “Athletic Support” topics: We’ve discussed wearing masks to practice, when/if it’s okay for kids to return to sports, and even racial tensions amongst teammates.
These are heavy subjects, but I take pride in not shying away from the tough stuff. I don’t expect every reader to agree with me one hundred percent of the time. You might never agree with me, and if that’s the case — tell me about it!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, any advice column is only as good as the questions it receives. I’ve been lucky to get a lot of great questions over the last year. Enough, in fact, that this column marks the 52nd installment — the first birthday — of “Athletic Support.”
I sure hope there are many more good years to come, but it won’t be possible without you and your unique, thoughtful, and (sometimes) spiteful questions.
Keep ’em coming!
Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author. Send questions for “Athletic Support” to firstname.lastname@example.org