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BALL FIVE: We have to be serious about doing our part right nowFree Access

“Ask not what staying home on the couch can do for you, but what staying home on the couch can do for your country.”
That is a quote from Oliver Luck who is the commissioner of the XFL and the father of recently retired NFL player Andrew Luck.
Many people in our neck of the woods aren’t taking those words of advice very seriously. They are taking them with the smallest of grains of salt. We should be taking them with a five-gallon bucket of salt.
A week ago, I talked about Mobridge and Mobridge-Pollock High School being the sports landscape’s version of Gilligan’s Island. Well, right now that “three-mile tour” is a great thing.
We are, in a way, insulated from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is far away from us. That does not mean it will stay away. Every time one of our castaways travels to other destinations and returns, there is a marked possibility they will bring the virus back with them.
I have no intention of becoming an alarmist, but we do need pragmatism here. We have to be serious about doing our part to make sure coronavirus stays away. If we never have to deal directly with it, well, that would be ideal.
Take the public health recommendations very seriously. Avoid putting yourself in places that are counterproductive. Crowds are fun, but not usually a necessity. Do your part to help minimalize the spread of the virus. Keep your life as regular as possible, but make the choice to avoid interactions and restrict your movements and travels.
We are the United States of America. We have persevered more and conquered greater. This too shall pass. With everyone’s help maybe the coronavirus pandemic will run its course sooner rather than later and life can return to a more normal state.
Now, onto the reality of what this is doing to me and my job. Yuck!
Things ramped up in a hurry last week. On Thursday afternoon, the Girls Class B State Basketball Tournament played two games in a near normal situation. The only thing that was really different was that the players did not have their traditional postgame handshakes. By the night session, tickets were reduced to 125 per team (that included players and coaching staffs). On Friday morning, at the request of Governor Kristie Noem, the rest of the tournament was postponed. In that same South Dakota High School Association release this week’s Boys State B and both Class A and Class AA state tournaments were postponed.
Note that those tournaments have been postponed. They have not been cancelled. But that may change. On Monday, the SDHSAA suspended springs sports until April 5. They are leaving practice up to the schools, but there will be no track and field, golf or tennis, competitions before then. Non-SDHSAA sports of baseball, softball and rodeo are not impacted by this decision, but smart people run those sports and I’m sure they will treat things the same way.
The sports world really has come to a standstill. The NBA, NHL, PGA, LPGA, NASCAR, pro tennis and soccer are all on hiatus. The NCAA basketball tournaments have been cancelled, as have all of their winter and spring championships.
The “Boys of Summer,” Major League Baseball, will really be the summer boys this year. Baseball’s opening day, originally scheduled for March 26, may not happen until late May, early June or even as late at June 20, the first day of summer. That is if people listen and our world is relatively healthy by then.
As of Tuesday, there is a possibility that two of May’s most important weekends, the playing of the Master’s golf tournament and the running of the Kentucky Derby, are going to rescheduled for as late as September. The running of the Boston Marathon has already been rescheduled for Sept. 14.
Let’s all just do our part. Let’s live with life’s new restrictions as best we can. Oh, and wash your hands.

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