I overheard an exchange between two people as I was leaving Berry College’s Kay Williams Field on Friday. Their conversation coming to an end, one said to the other that they hoped they enjoyed their break ... or whatever this was.
It encapsulated my feelings toward the current state of sports, and just how we get through what has become a cloud of uncertainty hanging over every field, stadium and arena in the country.
What is this? What are we supposed to call it? Words like “suspension” and “postponement” are being tossed at us every day in the media in regards to sports and athletics. It seems that most governing bodies in sports are trying to avoid the “C” word — cancel.
Berry followed suit Friday with Shorter University and nearly every other area college and school system by canceling classes and all athletic activities for at least the next two weeks. Berry’s administration plans to re-evaluate everything on April 3, while Shorter has made their suspension through April 10.
Well, in cautiously walking the line of an optimist, I’m calling this The Great Pause.
And while sports have taken a back seat to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the news, as it rightfully should, there are still sports stories to tell, related questions to answer and information to get out to the public.
So while you may see some changes to our sports pages in the coming days, we will continue to bring you coverage of local sports, albeit with an angle toward the effects of the response to the virus.
Beginning with Monday’s edition of the Rome News-Tribune, the sports pages will be folded into the “A” section of the newspaper and pared down in total. This comes as a result of the massive postponements and suspensions — there’s those words again — of local, state and national sporting events.
No games to cover mean not as much to write about, but we will continue to look for the stories that our readers want to know about in order to keep the public up to date with any developments.
And of course, when this moment passes and sports begin to come back, we will be there to return to normal operations and go back to a separate section of regular content. Hopefully during this time we can shed some light on the new challenges and day-to-day functioning of local coaches and athletes as they wait to see if they will get back on the field.
It has been tough for a sports guy like myself to qualify writing about things that at moments like this seem so trivial, but I know that when I cover a game or contest, I’m writing about the people and for the people who have put their heart and soul into competing for a championship, coming together on a team or building themselves into a better person.
That’s the empowerment that we all need right now. Come together in your community, help those in need and hope for this to be over soon.
Oh, and wash your hands.