Friday, April 10, 2020

The Big Picture

FatherBlog has a best friend from when he was a little kid named George.

The two grew up together in Brooklyn, rising from having very little to having very successful careers. In George's case, he is a lawyer.

Yesterday was George's 59th wedding anniversary with his bride Bunny. The two have always been very nice to TigerBlog in his lifetime, and they are both warm, caring, wonderful people.

Unfortunately, the nearest they got to each other on their anniversary was a hospital lobby. Both are battling medical issues, and though neither has the coronavirus, they were not permitted to be any closer to each other than across a lobby.

The world these days is filled with stories like that, ones that are either heartwarming or heartbreaking or both at the same time. Everyone has heard a few just like that, and most people have their own stories like that they could share.

There are so many people who are giving so much to try to fight this pandemic. Evan Garfein, the former Princeton men's lacrosse player and now plastic surgeon in New York City who put himself in danger by working 12-hour ER shifts and contracted the virus himself, appears to be doing much better, TB is happy to report.

The world needs people like him to end this situation. And they're out there, doing everything they can in every way they can.

They're heroes.

TB had one thought yesterday though. Where does that leave everyone else?

Not everyone can do something to specifically fight against the coronavirus. For most of the world, it means simply staying home, isolating, social distancing at all times.

It got TB to thinking about what he should be thinking about things like the cancelling of spring sports in the face of everything else that is going on. How upset can he be about it in the face of all of the suffering and sacrifice going on in the world?

The answer, he believes, is that it's okay to miss it.

TB speaks for all of his colleagues when he says everyone misses it. The whole point of working in college athletics is to do what you can to help the coaches succeed and the athletes have the best possible experience.

That's always first and foremost. And the best part of that is seeing how it all plays out on the public stage of the games.

No matter what, TB has always loved the games. He finds the competition to be revealing in so many ways, and he's always loved his view of it, from the perspective of knowing the principals involved, seeing what goes into putting teams together, understanding how much preparation has gone into a gameday.

Plus they're just fun.

So can he miss that, in the face of everything going on in the world?

Yes. He can.

And so can the athletes. It doesn't matter if you're a professional athlete whose season may not be played to conclusion or a college athlete whose spring has been turned upside down or a high school or even youth player who won't get on the field this year.

It's okay to feel badly about that and not have to feel like you're missing the big picture.

There will be a next year for most, but not all, of the athletes whose 2020 seasons would not be finished. They can be upset about it, and rightfully are.

This experience will also give them a chance to learn some things, about themselves and about life in general. To borrow a letter from the "Be A Tiger" performance model, this can be a very growth-minded moment for them.

Like all of them, TB would love to be spending his weekend watching spring sports compete. That is not possible in these surreal times.

The big picture suggests that there are more important things in the world to worry about right now. It also suggests it's okay to feel badly about what might have been.

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