The Lead In
Announcing the time of death of the spring sports season is on hold as a glimmer of hope remains the season will be revived.
But if I had to put money down on that happening, I’m not sure I’d make that bet.
I understand the FHSAA wants to provide hope that the season will pick back up. And I get that it’s trying to figure out a way to make it work during a difficult time.
Yes, the season might stretch to June 30. But that is the absolute latest date possible. Some are asking why things can’t go into July. However, it’s pointless to hope for an extension beyond June because the school year won’t spill over into July either.
Of course, all of this hinges on the schools reopening. If they don’t, then spring sports are off the table.
We all want the season to have real closure to it. But if the worse-case scenario plays out and this spring goes down as the one the COVID-19 pandemic ruined, there are lessons to be learned from it.
Lessons such as the importance of the little things. And that includes those things that don’t seem as if they are worth remembering or cherishing, such as the extra running you have to do because you were late to practice or the bus ride home after a loss.
This pandemic also serves as a lesson that life can change in the blink of an eye, and that even something has constant as sports in our lives can be ripped away without us having an opportunity to do anything about it.
Life is going to knock you down at times. But that shouldn’t ever stop you from getting back up.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in the shoes of the athletes today. It can’t be easy, especially for the seniors who may have played their last game without even knowing it was going to be their last game.
But things will get better. Life will return to normal. We will all be stronger because of it. And when we do get sports back, be it next month, in the fall, or God forbid, next year, we will all cherish it a little more. We will cherish it more because we’ll remember what it was like to not have sports at all.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos announced Thursday all games in April have been postponed due to the stay-at-home order in place in Florida.
In fact, the entire April schedule is wiped out for now because of the pandemic.
Eleven home games were on the slate this month for the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
A year ago, the Blue Wahoos drew just over 22,000 fans for their first home stand of the year. Consider that the majority of tickets cost between $13 and $15. Throw in food and drink purchases as well as merchandise sales and losing even one home stand is a big hit from a financial standpoint.
The hope is baseball can start back up in May, though at this point, June seems more realistic in terms of things getting back to normal. And even that’s being optimistic.
In the Paper
Most of you have noticed the sports section is much smaller than normal due to the impact of COVID-19. While there are no games to cover, I continue to work on features and other relevant sports-related stories.
This week, I have a feature on Quentin Randolph, a former walk-on from Navarre. He went on to help the University of West Florida win an NCAA Division II national championship in football. Randolph is pursuing his NFL dream. Read about it in this week’s Navarre Press. Next week, I take a closer look at the FHSAA’s decision to keep hope for a spring sports season alive.
Thank you in advance for continuing to support the Navarre Press.
This Day in Sports History
On April 2, 1984, John Thompson became the first black coach to lead his team to an NCAA basketball title. Georgetown defeated Houston 84-75 to win the championship.
Also, on April 2, 1985, the NCAA adopts the 45-second shot clock in men’s basketball. The rule goes into effect at the beginning of the 1985-86 season.
And on April 2, 1995, the costliest strike in pro sports history ends when baseball owners agree to let players play without a contract. The strike began in August of 1994 and wiped the World Series that season.
Follow on Twitter: @BLester1993 and @navarresports
Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.