The view from the press box

The Lead In

I should be heading to Gulf Breeze today to cover the Andrews Invitational, one of the main track meets of the season.

The meet is a measuring stick for athletes as they inch closer to the start of the postseason in April. You tend to see some of the best performances of the season there. But because of COVID-19, it won’t happen this year.

As we approach the end of March, the sports world remains on pause. The Andrews Invite is among several meets that have been wiped off the schedule.

We aren’t just talking about games and meets lost either. We are talking about money lost as well as losing opportunities to make strides.

For example, the Raider baseball program stands to lose thousands of dollars by not being able to host Baseball at the Beach games over the next two weeks. You can read that story in this week’s Navarre Press.

I’ve talked with a couple of people close to athletics in this area and the belief is that it will be a shock if the spring sports season resumes.

The issue is even if it did pick back up, it would take some serious coordination between the schools as well as the FHSAA to set up the schedule. Not just for regular season games but for postseason events as well. 

As much as I want to see a miracle here, I’m not holding my breath. It’s an unfortunate situation for everyone involved, especially with all the work that has gone into a season for these athletes.

At this point, do we even get a fall sports season? And how that would look if the curve isn’t flattened in the next couple of months.

A lot of uncertainty ahead for sure. And it’s the uncertainty that is the most difficult thing to deal with in all of this COVID-19 craziness.

Sports Update

The Navarre Press sports section is going to be drastically trimmed down for at least the next few weeks. It’s not for a lack of content because I have plenty of stories in the works, but it’s over the need to use the space for stories pertaining to COVID-19.

The beauty of the newspaper world in the 21st century is access to the internet and social media is a game changer. I will do my best to post to our social media, even if it’s only to take your mind off the present new normal for just a few minutes.

Check it Out

The Navarre Press features stories on Tyler England and Jack Patching this week. England has thrived as multi-sport athlete for the Raiders and will play both football and baseball at Huntingdon. Patching is set to continue his soccer career at the University of West Florida.

Brian Out Loud!

My column this week focuses on re-defining sports. Does yard work count as as sport? Or throwing a ball to a dog? That depends, but based on where we are right now with sports, I’m willing to classify anything as a sport.

This Day in Sports History

On March 27, 1989, Sports Illustrated did a story on Pete Rose’s gambling activities, noting he allegedly bet on baseball from the Riverfront Stadium dugout using hand gestures with an associate.

On this day in 1994, Magic Johnson became the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. He coached the final 16 games of the season.

Also, on this day in 2007, NFL owners 30-2 to make video replay a permanent part of the game.

Follow on Twitter: @BLester1993 and @navarresports

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