Morning friends, and welcome to summertime.
Under a normal sporting calendar, we’d be talking about the conference finals of the NBA and the Stanley Cup. The pretenders would already be double digits back in the baseball standings (‘sup, Marlins). “Voluntary” NFL camps would be underway, and we’d be gearing up for golf’s U.S. Open.
Instead … well, you know.
Yes, we have sports, real live American sports like NASCAR and UFC, and some entertaining sport-like product, like Sunday’s Tiger/Phil/Peyton/Brady hit-and-giggle golf outing. Chatter’s building that baseball and basketball will be back, possibly practicing next month, possibly playing in July. Possibly.
Faint hope? Sure, but I’ll take it. I’m about done with watching replays of the 2012 NFC championship or the 1999 Eastern Conference Finals. We have strip-mined every possible sports movie and sports debate of the last half-century. If I never see another list, power ranking or bracket again, I’ll be just fine with that. Me, I’m about ready to stop writing these “sports are coming back soon!” stories and start writing about, I don’t know, some meaningless Cleveland-Oakland baseball game.
I know you're done, too. We’re all ready to be done with this. Sure, there are those who are flagrantly defying social-distancing protocol and basic common sense, gathering by the dozens or hundreds and assuming the virus is something that happens to Other People. And there are those who have appointed themselves moral standard-bearers, scolding the world on TV, editorials and social media, secure in the knowledge that they’re handling this crisis The Right Way, and YOU are not.
But the rest of us? Man, the rest of us just want this all to be over, and we’re all doing the right and responsible things to get to that point. Granted, I can’t speak for every American, but the cross-section of people who aren’t taking their cues from demagogues is approaching this pretty much the same way: not taking unnecessary risks, focusing on their own loved ones, listening to people who know what they’re talking about, washing hands, and hoping we get back to normal sooner rather than later.
I know, I know, this could all change in a couple weeks. We could be in for a second wave that hits even harder than the first. We could see more job losses, more financial devastation, more empty stadiums and postponed games. I don’t know what comes next, and I’m pretty suspicious of anyone who says they do.
Still, there’s this: Over the weekend, I grilled out. I drank a couple fireside beers. I watched the Coca-Cola 600. It wasn’t all that different from Memorial Days past, and it was some much-needed normalcy as we head into a summer unlike any we’ve ever had before. And with any luck, when Labor Day rolls around, we'll be watching some football, in one form or another.
Happy summer, y’all. Enjoy it however you can. See you back here tomorrow.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him with tips and story ideas at email@example.com.
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