Alan Clark

I don’t mean to step on Sports Editor Sam Cowan’s toes here, but because I am so much a sports enthusiast, I just had to comment on the state of affairs of sports these days.

With the cancellation of so many leagues and tournaments lately due to you-know-what, that ubiquitous “v-word” thing going around, my world is getting a lot smaller.

I grew up playing sports as a lot of you did, and when my playing days were over, I became a “fan,” a true fanatic of everything sports-related.

I am still doing sports as a tennis coach for Franklin County High School and Winchester Christian Academy, and a longtime broadcaster on whatever radio or TV station will have me. My website, alclarkvoice.com, has examples of some of those calls from the past.

But now, out of fear for the spread of the “v-word” thing, officials have rightly but reluctantly canceled or postponed everything imaginable that has to do with sports, especially if it draws a crowd.

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, or TSSAA, has even informed school systems that they must make decisions about the status of spring sports, like baseball, soccer, and oh, yes, tennis.

Our district athletics directors met this week and, by now, we know the status of practice and games going forward.

You see, my week starts with Saturday and Sunday mornings with the TV on tuned in to Premiere League soccer, a sport my youngest son excelled in and we watch together as often as possible.

He even continues to play now going on 38 years old.

I might catch a NASCAR race, or part of one, on Sunday afternoons, a leftover from those days when the Duck River Raceway, on what was then the outskirts of my hometown in Columbia, fired up every Saturday night and my buddy Emory Kincaid and I would walk (you could safely walk around your neighborhood back then) to the dirt track to catch a race or two involving Coo-Coo Marlin, Charlie Brinkley, Red Farmer, and even a guy named Marty Robbins, who often had to leave the track early to go play music in Nashville.

There’s always the excitement of college football on Saturdays and the NFL on Sundays, Mondays, and now even Thursdays. In the fall, a Friday night without high school football is unheard of where I come from.

I don’t watch baseball on TV anymore; just too boring, but I love to catch the Rebels down at the park when they are at home.

And I spent a lot of weekends in Chattanooga with the Lookouts in both their old and newest environments.

I must confess I have not been to the current home of the Nashville Sounds yet, but the old Sulphur Dell was always a place my dad enjoyed taking the family, plus we got to listen to Larry Munson on the way up and back.

I did not play a lot of basketball in my time, except pickup games with friends, but I am regularly involved in broadcasting high school and college basketball games at places like Motlow and Covenant.

During high school tennis season, I am at the courts every day of the week with one team or the other and sometimes on the weekends.

So, my life is still consumed by a love of sports of all kinds (except maybe bowling), and now there is a void.

How long will this last?

No one knows, but surely it cannot go on forever.

Lots of people believe sports enthusiasts are shallow and narrow-minded, but I have seen and been associated with some very smart individuals who are involved with one sport or another. Take up golf and you will know what I mean.

There is a sport for every level of person.

I am hoping for my sanity’s sake that the clouds clear up, and the pall over the nation goes away soon so that the sun may shine and people can go out and see each other again at a sporting event somewhere, in the stands, on the field, the pitch, or the court, because that’s the way it oughtta be.

Alan Clark’s award-winning editorials are available as podcasts on Apple Music and on his website.