Escondido, CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny

Life without sports

Last week I gave my Dr. Phil impersonation on diagnosing the causes of the apparent decline of our mental state, as perceived by some, supposedly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not exactly from the virus itself but more from the State-imposed lock down or quarantine or shelter-in-place—whichever term you want to use. I think I came up with a few reasonable causes until Sunday when I read the U-T sports page, or what’s left of it.

Up until two months ago, the Sunday sports section was 8 to 10 pages and the weekday section from 4 pages on a slow day to usually 6 pages. Then it hit me. Here is our problem … no sports. At this time of year we would be reading about and/or attending our favorite professional, college and high school baseball teams. The same interest in soccer at all levels and high school track and field and all the blab about the upcoming football season. But this year would be a bonus year because of the Summer Olympics which have been postponed. Sports writers across the globe would be typing away like crazy getting stories in before deadline. Not so now. Copy rooms must be pretty quiet.

Even Dr. Phil would have to agree with my diagnosis. Without all the conversations among fans of all sports, and let’s not forget all the wagering that keeps many minds working overtime, the loss of contact and some arguing and the occasional punch is making us all juuuust a little bit sketchy, don’t you think? You see, we have to keep the gray matter exercised to stay healthy mentally just as physical exercise is an absolute for our physical well-being.

One more thought on this pandemic. If I hear the word unprecedented again I might barf. This pandemic does have a precedent, thus making the current pandemic not the first to ever occur. I guess reporters who use the term unprecedented haven’t heard of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic which reportedly killed approximately 50 million people worldwide. Think about the population 100 years ago versus today and calculate the percentage of the world’s population that died as a result of the flu. By comparison we are not even close to 1918. Enough.

Oh, to show you how starved sports writers are for material the past two days the U-T has begun a filler section reporting on who was the greatest Padre player to wear a specific number on their jersey. Hey, it takes a full page each day but I don’t know what they will do next after they run out of numbers. My guess is that since baseball keeps stats on just about anything maybe they can report on who the greatest Padre players were in each month or day of the week or holiday weekend. They have time to decide since they are only up to number 16. I think we all know the greatest who wore number 19.

It was a pleasure seeing signs of life once again on Grand Avenue. More businesses open, shoppers’ cars parked on the street, people walking along. Great to see. Although not downtown, I read where drive-in movies are making somewhat of a comeback. No need for spacing there. We have the old Escondido Drive-In but alas the cost is prohibitive to bring it up to any decent operating standard.

The State of California is looking for new taxes to keep their spending addiction active. How about doing away with the ‘grace period’ on vehicle registrations. As I have told a few of our past police chiefs, just give me a ticket book and I will fill it within a week just on overdue vehicle registrations. Seriously, I have seen cars around town with 2018 tags and 2019 and January, February, March 2020. And I’m only talking about Escondido—just imagine what it is statewide. Just something else to amuse me as I drive around town in addition to noticing personalized license plates.

Which brings me to this week’s pick. This is good. There is a heart followed by 1ANTHR. Rather easy to come up with “love one another.”   

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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