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Sports on Pause

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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All of us are part of a team. Just like with any side at any intermission, adjustments will continue to determine our future.

Context is everything.

While the spring season is always one that turns anew, the last few days, this year, have unfortunately come with a dramatically different perspective. Recent news has been striking, scary across the board. The worldwide spread of the coronavirus has, in many ways, changed life as we know it, adjustments that continue to move the proverbial chains. Part of the shock of all of this is that we are trying to deal with it as we are still trying to learn about it. Fear comes in many forms; uncertainty can sometimes be the most unsettling.

Through the ebb and flow of time, sports, literally and figuratively, help us compartmentalize and measure. The ticking clock of each game often serves as an outline for so much that we do. The difficult decision to stop all domestic events, the correct and prudent decision with the clear need for social distancing, has been a reality check that leaves us yearning for further review. While everyone, individually, has trials and tribulations, sports has always been there in various forms and formations. We have found comfort, for lack of a better word, in that competition.

Given that the national news can sometimes feel like it's coming from afar, sports, profoundly enough, are often considerably more intimate. Minus our favorite teams, we don't feel as whole, as together or as unified. Whether they know it or not, coaches and players, entire organizations, even, become extensions of us, our families and friends. They bridge the gap between life and leisure.

Regardless of who you root for or what game you enjoy, a 60-minute, four-quarter or 9-inning break from reality is one that we regularly need. For now, that is gone. 

The latest health developments are very concerning and very real. So, too, should be the conclusions we draw from them; how we see ourselves, how we see the world and, ultimately, how we live our lives. Whether it's more to give or more to be grateful for, there is always more to learn. Those notions are now being reinforced. All of us get complacement in our everyday lives and understandably so. As a type one diabetic, someone with an underlying health condition, the spread of this terrible virus is, admittedly, helping me slow down down and reset my own priorities.    

In an unprecedented modern era of extended postponements and cancelations, sports, clearly and inarguably, matter. Economically and emotionally, they are part of the puzzle that make us feel complete. Part of our routine suddenly feels empty. Simply put, it's downright unnerving to flip through the channels and not once stop to check a score. Beyond mere entertainment, the massive infrastructure behind the games makes up a chunk of our functional foundation. We, essentially, are on pause.

When games aren't schedule, it's hurts people, not just players; moving forward, hopefully we will better understand this one-and-the-same. 

All of us are part of a team. Just like with any side at any intermission, adjustments will continue to determine our future. We are a resilient bunch, one always stronger as a collective group. As we move forward, we must do so, even in trying times, together. Priorities matter; so, too, do passions. There is a place for both in our perspectives. So many of us need sports. All of us need each other.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports