NOVAK: It has been an emotional rollercoaster for me the past week

My emotions have been taken for a ride for the last seven days.

On the upside, I learned that city of Niles is going to host its annual golf tournament at Plym Park over the next two weekends. I had not heard from the city since I inquired about the tournament early in June, so I checked with the golf course, and low and behold, the tournament was still on.

I love covering this tournament. Over the years, I have gotten to know these golfers, who compete for the honor of being a city champion. Some of them I already know from covering other sports, so it is a bit of an annual reunion for me and some of them.

It is an enjoyable four days of golf, for the most part, if the weather cooperates. I have covered the city tournament in the heat and humidity. I have covered it under beautiful blue skies and the perfect temperatures.

Heck, I even covered it a day after a storm tore through Niles and left trees and debris all over the course. I still do not know how the folks at Plym Park got it all cleaned up in time to continue the tournament without delay.

It did not take long for the pendulum to swing back the other way. Just a day later, I found out that the Ivy League had decided to cancel all of its fall sports. Not that I spend a lot of time covering or watching the Ivy League, but I am worried that they are the first pin to fall over with many more to come.

It did not take long to get even more bad news as the Big Ten Conference, following two days later by the PAC-12 Conference, announced they would play games against conference foes only. That wiped out some pretty good football games I was planning to watch if we had a season.

The days and hours continue to click down on the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s fall sports plans. The MHSAA said it wanted to have something decided around July 20, while the governor’s office said July 25 when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked the state association to consider switching fall and spring contact sports such as football.

To say every coach, athletic director or fan I talk to are sitting on pins and needles is probably an understatement. You can only hold your breath so long before you turn blue and pass out. I feel like I am about to turn a lovely shade of blue.

Looking at the numbers nationally, things do not look good. I saw on television over the weekend that more than 20 states have stopped, or are rolling back, their plans to reopen. That is a trend that does not lead to reopening sports next month. Michigan is one of those states currently trending in the wrong direction.

I will once again plead with everyone to wear a mask indoors and keep your social distance. If you cannot keep your distance outside, please wear a mask. Everyone who understands the situation is saying that we can turn these numbers around if we only follow those two simple things.

For all of you who crave sports, wear a mask. For all of you who have been whining about no sports, wear a mask. Do it for your family, your friends, your neighbors and your favorite sports teams.

 

Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at scott.novak@leaderpub.com.

 

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