I miss sports.

It sounds like a “well, duh” statement. Sports writer likes sports. Duh.

But we had to adjust to life without sports.

After doing this for years and years, one thing this pandemic brought was something different. The kids and coaches impacted didn’t want that and neither did I, but in an odd way, it was a breath of fresh air. Time to change gears a little.

This pause is different.

We got going and fall sports were off to a rousing start (and even finish for some sports). There’s some darn impressive teams still going in these postponed postseasons.

Then, bam, another spike in virus cases and everything shuts down.

Schools and athletic directors have demonstrated this can be done safely. Teams can be pulled out of school and use virtual learning to isolate away from most threats, like Traverse City West did during the playoffs. Spectators can be minimized (or even eliminated altogether, if absolutely necessary). Things can be done.

Northern Michigan went through a six-week football season without a single high school sports-related outbreak. The Department of Health and Human Services reported one (Kingsley football), but that appears not to have really originated from the football team.

And for those who care to act recklessly, well, it’s up to the rest of us to show them how. And to not let it slide.

Seasons depend upon us all.

These last few weeks of staying at home have been the worst in some ways. Sitting at a chair at the dining room table, conducting interviews, doing almost everything virtually, it’s frighteningly boring (no offense to anyone I’ve interviewed). It’s not different anymore.

For the first time in my life, I felt depressed. With bad knees preventing much in the way of exercise, I’m pushing 200 pounds, a weight I swore I’d never get to.

I need to get back out there in the real world, get active and talk to folks face-to-face.

That’s got to be even more so for these kids, who’ve had their seasons stripped from them by an invisible enemy that some aren’t willing to fight.

Every kid and coach I’ve talked to echoed the same sentiments: I don’t care what we have to do to play, just let us do it. Every. Single. One.

It’s time to let them play.

Follow @Jamescook14 on Twitter.

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