NOVAK: Believe it or not, there is more to life than football

I know this might be hard for some to believe, but there is more to life than football.

When I say football, I mean every level, from Rocket to the National Football League.

But if you watch the constant complaining and whining on social media, you would think that football is the only sport played in America.

I am upset that there will be no high school football until the spring in Michigan. I am not happy that there may be only three college conferences playing football this fall.

However, that is not my point today. My point is, where is the outrage for all the other sports that are being shut down? I do not see daily posts lamenting the loss for the NCAA Division I championships in cross country, field hockey, soccer for both men and women, volleyball and water polo?

Those athletes work hard, if not harder, in some cases than the football players. I do not see anyone taking up their causes with letters to the presidents of the respective conferences. I am going to think they are out there, but the national media does not have time to write about them as they solely focus on football.

I get it. Football is the “big money” sport for pretty much every college and university. The money raised by football usually supports all the other sports at a school. I am also pretty sure the members of those other sports are used to getting overlooked by the national media. Most of their coverage comes from local papers or the school newspaper.

When I think back to last March, I do not remember bands of parents getting together to write letters to the schools demanding they reinstate the sports. The same is true about spring sports fans. Where were they at?

I get a little upset when I read about how this year’s seniors are not getting a fair shake. Let me tell you something. I know many seniors who got whom seasons taken away from them, several of which were about to crown state championships. Again, I do not remember people rising up and demanding we find a way to keep sports going.

Ask Dowagiac, Buchanan, Cassopolis and Brandywine if they would have liked to have finished the boys district basketball tournament? They were one day away from doing that when the state had to pull the plug on sports.

Ask the Three Rivers girls basketball team, which was about to head to the state semifinals in girls basketball when their season ended. Many of the girls on that team would have always made up the Wildcats’ softball team, which also looked like it was poised to make a state title run.

Most of them got a “sorry. We feel bad for you.” None of them got a crusade.

Let us hope that football is the only high school sport that has to move its season. This week, sports are set to begin for girls golf, boys tennis and cross country. We will find out the fates of boys soccer and volleyball no later than today.

We may not like the decision that has been made., but I would like to believe that the people who are making them and doing so with our student-athletes’ best interests at heart. Let us also hope that this is a one-year deal and that we can control COVID-19 before winter sports are scheduled to begin.

Until then, let us stop complaining about football moving to the spring and get behind the other sports competing this fall. They deserve our passion and our support, just like any other sport.

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

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