There are a lot of us who have taken for granted the role that sports play in our daily lives.
After all, sports have always been there, from the big leagues to college to high school and youth leagues. Whether we play the games ourselves, enjoy watching them, or make money reporting about them, sports have always been a constant.
That’s particularly true in this modern era of cable television and live internet streaming. Bored? Just click on Fox Sports Detroit, and it won’t be long before the Tigers, Pistons or Red Wings will be on the tube. If not, just click over to ESPN.
Want to watch a live game? In our area, there’s almost always something happening, or coming soon, at Mercy Health Arena, local schools, or Marsh Field in the summer, when the schools close for vacation.
Sports are a passion and a great escape for millions, and a really fun way to make a living for a privileged few. But like anything that’s plentiful and always available, we haven’t appreciated the games and athletes as much as we should.
Now, suddenly, they are gone. All of them. And we have no idea when they will be back.
I will bet there are a ton of sports people, right here in the Muskegon area, who are feeling the same way I am right now – stunned, a bit depressed, and unsure about what I’m going to do to fill the sudden hole in my life.
I am personally distraught by the loss of Opening Day at Comerica Park, which I always attend with friends, and the timely start of the Detroit Tigers’ season. I love the Tigers, particularly in the early part of the season, before the reality of their inept play sets in.
It also has to do with work. At LocalSportsJournal.com, sports don’t always seem fun. Gathering the results from all the games, writing, editing and meeting deadlines at all hours of the day and night is a ton of pressure-filled work. There have been a million times over the years that I have told myself I would really love a break from it all.
Now that break has arrived, in a painful and unexpected way, and I realize that I didn’t really want it at all. Covering local sports has become a way of life for myself and my colleagues at LSJ. I think back to all the times I’ve cringed about having to cover a game on a Saturday night, when I would rather be doing something else – and now I can’t imagine why I felt that way.
Sports journalists make their money by immersing themselves in something they are passionate about. How many people ever get to make a living doing something they truly love?
I sympathize with the athletes who have no idea when they are going to take the court or field again. I feel particularly bad for the high school boys basketball teams that advanced to district championship games – which were supposed to be played on Friday night – and now may never be played.
I understand the anxiety that players on high school spring sports teams are feeling right now. As of this writing, we have heard nothing about the status of prep baseball, softball, soccer and other sports which were due to begin very soon.
Will there be a spring high school season? The Michigan High School Athletic Association has not announced a decision. But with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordering all schools to close for three weeks, it’s certain that if the season happens at all, it’s going to start late.
I say better late than never. I hope it turns out that way.
Of course the sudden loss of sports means a sudden loss of a lot of content for LSJ. The games and the athletes are the raw materials for our product. It would be like cutting off the hamburger supply to Burger King or McDonalds. Business would obviously tank quite a bit.
But LSJ is not going anywhere. We will continue to publish our popular Local Sports Journal monthly magazine, in partnership with our awesome advertisers, who share our commitment to keep high school sports in the headlines.
We will continue to scour the area for stories about coaches and athletes and games of any sort. Got any tips? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We could really use some great story ideas right now!
And LSJ will be ready when the games begin again. Our commitment to covering our local athletes – particularly the high school kids – goes a lot deeper than just business. We believe sports play a huge and positive role in the lives of young people, teaching them about the discipline, sense of teamwork, and responsibility necessary to get by in this challenging, complicated world.
Nature has thrown us a curveball, but the world is not ending. To all of our readers, we wish you the best during these tough times. Let’s all stay safe and healthy, look after our families, friends and neighbors, and emerge from this challenge with the best parts of our lives intact.
And if you love local sports, know that LSJ will still be around, as much as possible during this down time, and with great enthusiasm when that happy day arrives and the competition begins again.