For the greater good

Sometimes, as Robert Burns and John Steinbeck reminded us, the best laid plans of mice and men go awry.
Over the past month my plans had been to write about three things that are important to me. My thoughts of baseball’s Negro Leagues, my annual case for 256 to be invited to play in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and my passion for spring training, only became thoughts and not expressed on paper.

My first memories and throughout my life have been immersed in sports. As a child, my fantasies were to play in the major leagues or become a player in the NBA. Obviously, I was not to be close on either. My first “real” job was that of a sportswriter for the Southern Illinoisan. As many know, for the majority of my adult life, I dedicated myself to children and youth athletics.
Therefore, it is very difficult for me to see a suspension or cancellation of many of our sports that we as a nation have come to love. However, there are things that are more important than our obsession and passion for these activities. Obviously, we should be more concerned with the health and well being of all humans. The crisis that we are facing at this time eclipses our desires or our selfish wants.
I will not insult you or myself by telling you I know the answers to our worldwide crisis that we are going through, as many on social media have done. This I do know: some of the comparisons that have been made of apples to oranges are not only without merit, but detrimental to rational thought. Next, news (and I mean real news) are things that deviate from the norm in a society. Downplaying and saying this current virus is no worse than a cold is not only ignorant, but harmful to others when you have an audience.
Lastly, it is my hope that our government is able to express, through honesty and empathy, a most caring nature for all citizens of this planet, especially those who are most at risk and vulnerable. Blaming others is not the way to resolve any issue. We will get through this, but it will not be without great sacrifices.
Yes, I am going to miss the rest of spring training and March Madness, but this is a true opportunity to show what we are as individuals. Sending my warmest regards and love to all those who take the time to read this. Roger Norman / Carterville