During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.

“SPORTS”

If you hate sports, I’ll save you some time. Enjoy your day and come back tomorrow.

This post probably isn’t for you, unless you want to better understand your sport-loving friend.

 

I miss sports. Playing. Watching. Seeing my kids and favorite teams compete.

I know in the whole scheme of things, they wouldn’t normally fall into the “essential” category.

But if you are a sports fan, I think you can agree that this stinks.

 

Kids sports

As I looked at our family calendar a few days ago and all the track meets that were just crossed off, it was a reminder of what could have been this year.

If you are a parent of a kid who plays sports, I think you’ll agree that it can be one of the most fun things in life to cheer your child on, encourage them and see them doing something they love.

And for the kids, it’s something that they love, that they look forward to.

It teaches them about endurance, teamwork, respect, goals, hard work, integrity.

The cancellation of this years track season is extra tough on Eli, my senior, who was looking forward to a huge leap from last year to this year and had been training for months to get where he was now.

Even when the rec center closed, he kept training, using what he had available.

And as the weeks slip by, it’s just this uneasy feeling as a parent. There isn’t anything I can really offer him or my other sons.

There’s no consolation. Parents of baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis… all in the same boat. No warning. Just done.

Even students who started off still hanging in there and training have to be close to giving up at some point, realizing that their season is possibly just done completely.

As much as it hurts me as a parent to see my kids deal with this, I also know that it’s building character, perseverance and allowing for talks here and there about how to deal with life when things don’t go as planned.

Still…

 

College and Professional Sports

I know this one gets a lot more controversial.

“Why do we need pro sports?”

If you’re not a sports fan, you won’t get this. But for sports fans, there is something that watching sports and cheering for your team and hanging in there even after your team has stunk for most of the last 20 years including a 0-16 and 1-15 season and you still keep cheering for them anyway because you love them and hope that this will be the year….

There’s something that watching our favorite teams compete (or really any teams at this point) that gives us enjoyment, something to look forward to, something to inspire us and spice up our lives.

I can’t imagine games without fans in the stands, but just to be able to watch a game would be amazing right now.

As a Cleveland sports fan, I’ve been through a lot. Cleveland fans are some of the heartiest and most loyal people on earth. And we’re positive that this fall could be when the Browns turn the corner.

And even though the Cavs have been blah this year, it’s still fun to watch them play. And the NBA in general. Any given night.

One other aspect to all of this is that we’re a sports family. We watch games together. It’s a way that we bond and share experiences.

The absence of the games to watch and enjoy has just become more evident as the weeks go by.

No buzzer beaters or big matchups. No “dad, did you see this!!” comments from my son.

It’s just weird.

So, I don’t know what it will look like for sports to get back up and going, but we need to find a way.

 

Rec Sports

One other way that I’ve felt all of this is missing basketball and volleyball.

My wife, two of my sons and I were all on a church league volleyball team this year and were having so much fun together with our team. Gone.

I would often play basketball at our local rec center on Saturday mornings with guys that I’ve played with for 15 years. Lots of fun. Gone.

I’m sure you have others that you can mention in your own life. Exercise groups, workouts, sports, camaraderie, community. Gone.

I know there have been some things that have gone online, and there will be some positives and new opportunities that come out of that. But it’s just not the same.

 

Sports. Please come back. We all miss you.

-America

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