By Dan Borrello
Times Sports Writer
As you may or may not have noticed, The Times hasn’t published any Scholar Athletes of the Week since March.
And, as you may have been too distracted to notice, you can probably figure-out why.
As much as you want to blame the governor, you can’t.
And, as much as you may want to blame the origins of this pandemic, that won’t do us any good.
It’s all in the past. And still, the present, and future.
Now, student athletes heading into your senior years expecting to play fall sports are experiencing what those who couldn’t play in the spring endured.
No Friday Night Lights. No practice fields full of young, vibrant players practicing to win championships. No races. No spikes on the court. No chants. No hands raised in victory.
Only defeat. Everybody loses.
But, as the adage goes, when you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
Sports have always seemingly been there. Just like toilet paper, food, jobs, soap.
And, like that, gone.
It’s unfair. But then again, sports aren’t a right. They never have been.
They are nothing more and nothing less than a privilege.
But, here in America, we have been allowed to think that everything is a right.
Sean Doolittle of the Washington Nationals said it best.
“Sports are like the reward of a functioning society.”
Have you looked beyond your window recently? Yeah. Whew.
Blame whomever you’d like; it won’t change a thing.
And, right now, while it may seem things are trending up, odds are it’ll take an act of God to wipe this pandemic off the Earth and get us back to the usual.
Note, the word isn’t “normal.” What’s normal here isn’t elsewhere. Heck, part of the reason soccer is the most popular sport on the planet is because you don’t need equipment or shoes. Just a ball, or the makings of a ball.
Soccer isn’t world-renowned because it’s more fun. It’s simply most convenient. We have it here. We also have better choices thanks to more access. Or, excess?
We have public schools and athletic programs and the cash to bring you everything you need on your worst day to give you hoops, football and lacrosse.
Sports are a privilege. Privileges can be taken away.
As the late WBEE overnight DJ, Dave Beck, tweeted in July: “We may never take anything for granted again.”
This isn’t a political post. It’s a plea.
For future reference, do whatever it takes to prevent anything like this from happening or continuing. Not just in sports, but anything that gives you joy you’d otherwise never experience anywhere else.
If we can, The Times will be thrilled to give you your Scholar Athletes of the Week, among other things.
Hope to read about you sooner rather than later.