Every-Thing Sports

Clinging to hope in a world without sports

NFL.com

We're still living in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. The stay at home orders have been in place for some time now. To make matters worse, we've been without several forms of entertainment. All the normal distractions from life's ills have been temporarily shut down. People are at their wit's end. They're losing their minds because they can't go anywhere or do anything to get their minds off of being stuck in Groundhog Day.

Sports often provide a welcomed distraction. Like I mentioned earlier, things are at a standstill. Every league has been interrupted in some way, shape, or form. Except the NFL. The NFL was in a somewhat fortunate position that they were in their offseason when the shut downs took place. The combine was conducted just before travel restrictions and social distancing was ordered. Free agency was business as usual. They're even continuing to hold their draft this week, but doing so virtually by holding it through teleconference.

Other sports that have been interrupted are having conversations about a potential return. Whether it's done without crowds, in isolation, or some modified version, they're all discussing how to make a comeback. Money is a huge motivator, but hope is another major factor.

Giving people hope

As previously mentioned, sports provide a much needed distraction. During the worst times, sports have often been the comfort food we've all needed. Who can forget the first games played after 9/11? I had a guy tell me when the housing market crashed a few years ago, he lost almost everything. The thing that gave him piece of mind was watching sports. Sports have gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life as well. We could all use the distraction right now.

Semblance of normalcy

Not only do sports offer us hope, but it signifies a semblance of normalcy. When things have been turned upside down, you need them to get back o normal as quickly as possible. While we can't go sit down at our favorite restaurants, we can still enjoy the food to go or even by delivery. That is what sports would be like right now. We may not be able to attend the games, but we'd most likely be able to watch them. Even if they took place in some random arenas, fields, or courts, it would be like eating your chips and salsa out of a plastic bag and styrofoam container instead of the bowls they normally come in. It's still the same chips and salsa you love, just not in the form you're used to. (No free refills either.)

Starving for entertainment

Right now, we're all starving for entertainment. People are passing time by doing and watching some of the craziest things. Tik Tok has taken over. Some videos are hilarious, while others leave a lot to be desired. We all got sucked into the Tiger King vortex (phrasing). The Last Dance documentary was dropped at the perfect time. Gamblers are betting on some of the lamest things right now. You know it's bad when they're replaying classic sporting events in prime time slots. Things wouldn't be as bad if movie theaters were open, new movies were dropping, and/or new tv shows were out. I don't know about you, but I'm enjoying catching up on things I hvaen't seen or love reliving.

I applaud the NFL for what they're doing with the draft. This will hold folks over for a little while and give them something to talk about. But until games are being played, I don't know how long some can hold up. Personally, I've created a routine to keep myself occupied. Part of that is knowing which days and channels have marathons of my favorite tv shows. I thoroughly enjoyed the Ali-Frazier trilogy ESPN had on this past weekend. Find something new and different to get into. Try that show or movie your friends recommend. Hell, get to know your family better. Whatever you guys do, don't lose hope. Keep your faith. This too shall pass.

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The Texans should swing for the fences. Composite image by Jack Brame.

With each passing day, the Deshaun drama thickens. It's progressed to Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeting, basically humbling himself to Deshaun.

A city that a few short weeks ago offered up mega star power across the board, has now seen James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and George Springer all depart for a variety of reasons. The impact of Deshaun leaving would be irreversible guaranteeing the Texans resting comfortably in the bottom of the AFC South for the next decade, wallowing in futility.

The saga will only intensify in two weeks should Patrick Mahomes collect another Lombard Trophy. As 2017 draft class contemporaries, Deshaun is comparing his career to #15. Another ring would place Mahomes up 2-0 in that discussion with Watson.

Perhaps the Texans should take a play from the Oilers playbook and inquire on Dabo Swinney. In the pursuit of securing the services of Warren Moon, the Oilers made a power play and secured the services of Moon's former CFL coach, Hugh Campbell. I've attended several luncheons and engagements in which Deshaun served as the keynote speaker. In many of those venues, a short video presentation would include personal greetings and feel good overtures directed to Deshaun from Dabo. The end result was Deshaun lighting up like a Christmas tree. There's a viable relationship in place there.

At the end of the day, Deshaun is a competitor. Losing DeAndre Hopkins was a major loss, but not to the degree that you might think. Deshaun still went out and threw for over 4,000 yards this season, and with a sub-par supporting cast, even pulling guys off of the practice squad in late December contests to fill out the receiving corps. The issue for Watson is trust, and culture. Hence, the recent headlines surrounding the Jets as a future home make very little sense. The Jets in 4 of their last 5 seasons have had double-digit losing seasons. Until the recent resurgence of the Browns, the Jets far and away have held the title of the "laughingstock" of the NFL.

The biggest challenge for the Texans is who could persuade Deshaun to stay? Could team President Jamey Rootes calm down the noise? It certainly won't come from Texans Ring of Honor recipient Andre Johnson. If I were Cal McNair, I would place a call to 105 Sikes Hall in Clemson, SC and ask for Dabo's office. That's as good of a place to start as any other.

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