Ah, it’s not going to be that bad.

The simple declaration above reflects life to this point. Life is a series of crises and warnings, and this is the first one of my life that has actually lived up – or down – to expectations. My generation grew up worried that a nuclear bomb was going to blow us all to smithereens – I’ve heard of smithereens but never actually seen them – and if that miraculously didn’t happen, a vast array of obstacles was forever in life’s path.

I remember when putting fluoride in the water was supposed to be a communist plot that was going to dull our capitalist minds. Who knew it was the Internet?

Fast-forward to the present. This novel coronavirus – it’s a dystopian horror novel – is actually as bad as can be. It’s as bad as climate change, porn, video games, satanic rituals, vampires, demon weed, Tide pods, Juul pods, tooth decay and terrorism combined. When I founded Laurens County Sports and sports in the county and elsewhere suddenly disappeared, I thought, yes, it’s not going to be that bad.

I can only compare it to events I lived too late to experience. My grandparents told me about the Great Depression, and World War II, and Tom Brokaw told me it took the Greatest Generation to survive such times, but all I could do was read about it and watch American Experience.

I tend to scoff at the notion that this is just a creation of the vilified media, somehow indoctrinated and herded into covens worse than those of any witches, because I’ve spent most of my life in the media and if I was ever brainwashed, I wasn’t aware of it, which I suppose would lead media haters to snarl, “Well, you wouldn’t, now, would you?” They all think my colleagues and I got sucked into some web of intrigue by a Bond villain or, gasp, The Joker.

I knew someone who died of COVID-19. I probably know five who have it now and twice that many who lived through it and are at least somewhat recovered. I haven’t been walking around saying “must kill Frank Drebin” to myself over and over, and definitely not “must not have sports.”

The best I can say for the past week regarding sports is that at least some plans are in place. Seasons are allegedly going to start late. Schedules are being redrawn. Where there is attendance at all, it is down. Where there is loneliness, it is up.

I suppose there are some positives. I can go into a convenience store wearing a bandana and not immediately have a shotgun poking at my ribs.

I’m proud of the way I have filled this website with sports in spite of its paucity. I’ve reminisced about old classics, scoured social media as if panning for gold and asked stupid questions because they are the only ones to ask. I’ve taken photos of empty venues. I’ve considered whether the competition for toilet tissue could be considered a sport, though not yet succumbed to such a declaration.

Now I want my ballgames worse than anyone ever wanted MTV.

If at this point, you still think this is all a hoax, or a media plot, or a socialist takeover, the only advice I can give comes from when I was young and reckless, and friends suggested we should do something really outrageous and quite likely illegal, and I barely had enough sense to say.

“Let’s not and say we did.”

Behave, folks. Be careful and take precautions.

Just in case.

Then we can have nice things again.