My pitch by ALEX SPONSELLER, SPORTS EDITOR

Brighter days are on the way

Posted 5/20/20

We are all ready to have our lives back and to be done with the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been for a while now. As the disease continues to run rampant throughout the country, the world, and lock us indoors and away from others, there is still plenty to

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My pitch by ALEX SPONSELLER, SPORTS EDITOR

Brighter days are on the way

Posted

We are all ready to have our lives back and to be done with the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been for a while now.

As the disease continues to run rampant throughout the country, the world, and lock us indoors and away from others, there is still plenty to look forward to regardless of how long this continues for.

It is up to us to find those things though, and to not let the negative dominate our lives and headspace. Easier said than done of course, the monotony has been growing increasingly frustrating each passing week.

It hit me this past weekend. I was outside in the backyard, and although it was mostly cloudy, there was a chunk of the day where the sun ruled the sky and the temps rose to well above 70 degrees. It was beautiful out and it felt closer to summer than it did spring.

Remember, even if where we can go is limited, we can enjoy the weather from our own property. Take advantage of it and appreciate it. I know for me personally, this pandemic has helped me regain an appreciation for the simple things like spending the weekend at home and relaxing in your own backyard, literally.

Do I miss going out to restaurants, sporting events, hell, pretty much any public place that isn’t the grocery store? Of course I do, but we must embrace what is available.

Remember, summer is right around the corner, and regardless of where we stand with this pandemic, we will be able to enjoy the weather one way or another … so no more sulking, go have some fun in the sun.

Play wiffle ball with the family, build a fire out back, do whatever it takes to get you off the couch and outside, I promise that it will make you feel better.

Another thing that I have grown to appreciate as well is time in the car. Not that I have to travel great lengths to go to the grocery store, but since the lockdown, I have never been more excited to hop in the car and go for a spin. There have been times where I have gone the long way, or have totally gone off course and enjoyed a lengthy stroll.

Pretty soon, it will be consistently warm enough to drive around, windows down, music blasting, and enjoying being outside even if it is from the driver’s seat. We all love those warm summer night drives. Now, we can have more of them than ever assuming this is where we still stand in a month or two.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to act as though this pandemic isn’t a giant pain or isn’t getting old. It is, and I can’t wait to return to normalcy and to be able to do what I want, where I want, when I want, how I want.

But for the time being, let’s be positive and make the most of the situation. Like I said, in some areas, it has really taught me the importance of enjoying the little things in life and has opened my eyes to how much we can do in the comfort of our own homes.

Beyond just the weather though, it looks like pro sports are going to be making their return this summer. With fans in attendance? No, but sports are better than no sports, and these leagues are working hard to provide fans with their product. The UFC held two more events recently, baseball is trying to begin things in July, so is the PGA. The NFL is acting as if its season will begin in September. Nothing is set in stone and all of these leagues will likely look different, but I’ll take it.

As we continue to work our way through these unprecedented times, we have to be positive, and it should be easier to do so with the weather improving and some of these leagues getting closer to opening things up.

We still have aways to go, but hang in there.

One sporting event that is slated for this weekend is the charity golf match between Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady.

I’m not totally invested in it, but am looking forward to tuning in. It’s a neat idea for a good cause, why not? My prediction? I think team Woods-Manning gets the job done.

If you remember in November of 2018, Woods and Mickelson had their own charity match against one another. Woods could have ended the match and won, but he decided to let Phil even the score for extra holes which would eventually lead to a Mickelson victory.

Woods is a competitor, and I don’t think he will be as kind the second time around.

As for Manning and Brady, I have no idea how they’ll do. I know they each play quite a bit of golf, but who knows? Either way, it should be a fun, lighthearted chapter added to the rivalry. Events like these should also be taken advantage of. Sports are sports, watch whatever you can in this current climate.

Lastly, I have been one of the millions of people following “The Last Dance,” ESPN’s documentary chronicling the life and career of Michael Jordan.

My biggest takeaway? Jordan was the talent and competitor that we all knew him to be, but his work ethic was even more impressive.

Sure, he was not always kind, and he had some bad habits that stemmed from his celebrity status, but he was always the hardest working player in the locker room each day. Not that I’m surprised, but being given that behind-the-scenes access has been fascinating, and validates everything that we have known about Jordan. I’d recommend the series to any sports fan out there.

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