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The Extra Point

A year totally unique

Chris Siers
Posted 1/4/21

What a wild year this has been. There's been plenty of hardship, loss, pain and suffering to go around, but if there's one thing that I've been able to take away from 2020, it's to appreciate what you have, and not long for what you want. The same kind of applies to the world of sports...

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The Extra Point

A year totally unique

Posted

What a wild year this has been.

There's been plenty of hardship, loss, pain and suffering to go around, but if there's one thing that I've been able to take away from 2020, it's to appreciate what you have, and not long for what you want.

The same kind of applies to the world of sports.

Back in March when seasons were suspended and canceled, we had no idea what the long term future was going to look like.

To be honest, we didn't know what the short term future was going to look like.

It's been a year of uncertainty to say the most.

Every year, I typically take off on opening day of the MLB season to watch the first games and soak it all in.

I know I track anything and everything related to spring football and begin my annual countdown to the fall kickoffs and college football Saturdays.

I even plaster March Madness brackets all over the office to remind myself just how terrible I am at filling out brackets.

None of that took place in 2020.

For the longest time, sports just ceased to exist and as someone who makes his living off the world of sports, that's a terrifying prospect.

Nevertheless, I tried to keep my wits about me and produce locally-relevant sports content-stuff you, the reader, wants to see in your sports section.

It got a little hairy for a minute, but in the end, we persevered.

By the time June rolled around, sports were allowed to resume, even in the most rudimentary workouts that didn't even involve game-specific drills.

There were no basketball scrimmages or seven-on-sevens for football to prepare, all taken in the name of safety to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

By the time the first high school football games kicked off, anxiety was sky high and nobody knew how long a season could last in a raging pandemic.

How in the world could a season not just begin, but conclude in it's entirety?

First, high school golf did it and showed that competition, even one as non-contact oriented as golf, could be played to completion.

Then soccer, and importantly, volleyball.

Finally, football played it's entire season to completion.

I began to realize, while it all looked differently, I began to appreciate the fact these athletes are simply able to compete, even as attendance is restricted, social distancing implemented and masks mandated.

The simple fact of being able to suit up in your respective sport and represent your team or organization in 2020 is a blessing in itself.

Six months prior, we had no clue if society could or would even get back to competition within years, let alone months.

And while I mentioned sports looked differently, college football was no different.

Instead of a typical 12-game schedule, various leagues opted for 10-game slates, or less.

But play was allowed to resume.

Even with games rescheduled and canceled due to COVID outbreaks, athletes were allowed to play.

And that is something to truly appreciate after such a difficult year.

Not being able to attend college football games and NFL tailgates and the like all make the atmosphere different, but simply having the games take place, even with additional safety measures and precautions, puts it all into perspective.

I'm not sure what 2021 looks like on the virus front with the prospects of new vaccines and a new presidential administration.

I'm not sure what sports will look like.

What I am sure of, however long we continue to suit up and compete as a society, I will be thankful for what we do have and not remiss with how things used to be.

Here's to a better 2021 and hoping we get back to some semblance of normalcy.

Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette. Email him at sports@t-g.com.

Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette.

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