Well, that escalated quickly.
It was only a week ago where my main concern was the pitching situation for Calaveras High School softball, or how many more school records Bret Harte senior swimmer Olivia Lilly would break. Yes, a week ago was a much simpler time.
A week ago, I was glad to put the long, winter, sports season behind me and start focusing on what’s being played in the spring. After covering 51 basketball games, 20 soccer games and a handful of wrestling matches, I was ready for something new.
And what happens right when that something new begins? Insert the novel coronavirus.
Like most people, I wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen. I would have never guessed that the world would seemingly stop moving. Call me naive or call me optimistic, but I didn’t foresee something like this happening.
When I heard that the Mother Lode League was suspending all athletic competition until April 1, right away I began to think of how I was going to get stories to last the few weeks where there’d be no games played. I looked on the bright side and figured that because there was still going to be practices, I could take this time to do deep previews about each team and maybe a couple of profiles on student-athletes. Heck, this might turn out to be a good thing.
Yeah, famous last words.
With Calaveras and Bret Harte canceling school until the first and second week of April, that means that not only will there be no games, but there will also be no practices. With no practices means no athletes and with no athletes, well, that means no stories.
But I just can’t have a blank sports section. I can’t just say, “Hey, there’s nothing to cover, so I’m going to take it easy until things get back to normal.” While the shows might currently not be going on, the same isn’t said for newsprint.
So, how does one write about sports when no sports are being played? That’s like trying to get milk when there are no cows. What is the Calaveras Enterprise sports section going to look like over the next few weeks and possibly months?
Fear not, for I have ideas. I may have to do some out-of-the-box writing, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be something for you to read each and every week. While I won’t have games to cover for a while, I’m going to try and find interesting stories that may be a little lighthearted, but still will help pass the time.
And isn’t passing the time what sports are all about anyways? Look, I understand that in the world right now, sports are really not that important. When I think of what the lovely Mrs. Dossi does as an RN every time she goes to work and steps into a hospital, that’s the real world, and right now, maybe one of the worst places to be. Then I look at myself and I’m bummed that Major League Baseball is going to be delayed. So, in the big scheme of things, not having sports around isn’t the end of the world.
But when it feels like the end of the world is near, that’s when sports become a wonderful distraction. For a few hours, a baseball or hockey game can make you forget about the real tragedies of the world. When for a slight moment, my biggest concern is the Giants’ bullpen or NFL free agency, that’s a good distraction to have.
So, I want to do my best to help all of you have some sort of distraction. It’s funny, my mom would always get reports from my teachers that I was a distraction in class and now I’m using that as a positive.
Please be safe and smart out there. My grandmother used to tell me when I was upset that, “This, too, shall pass,” and that could never be truer than right now. Try to find the little things that can make you smile, whether it’s discovering a new show on Netflix, or a new band (I recommend Joe Bonamassa or The Cold Stares) or fall in love again with The Beatles or Creedence Clearwater Revival. But just know that every Thursday, I will have content for you to enjoy and hopefully take your mind off of the real world, if even for just a moment.