Sports are all I’ve ever known.
My mom tells me all the time that I’ve been going to games since before I was born. When she was pregnant, she was still making trips to Neyland Stadium to watch the Vols.
I didn’t take long to pick up the ball myself once I could. I was swinging bats, playing catch and bouncing balls when I was a toddler. Some of my earliest memories are watching my dad play softball, going to UT games and finally getting on the diamond myself.
Always the entertainer, my dad still recalls the time I turned a triple play in T-ball. As the kids I tagged out were retreating to the dugout, I counted them off one-by-one. I still think he’s embellishing when he says I took a bow at second base as well.
As the years went by, I got more involved. When I started playing basketball, my uncle called me “Admiral” because I was a left-handed center like David Robinson. The nickname didn’t stick – probably because I have nothing else in common with one of the most athletic NBA players ever – though it did make me start watching the Spurs. As my loyal readers can attest, I haven’t stopped.
I played sports up until high school coaches told me they didn’t want me, so then I started talking about sports on WCPI. Looking back, it’s probably the true start of my sports media career.
Around this very time 10 years ago, my profession became sports and I couldn’t have been happier. People were actually going to pay me to attend games – that's easy money.
I never could envision a time where sports wouldn’t be a part of my life. I was going to be involved somehow, someway at all times.
I guess I never took into account they could be taken away.
Everybody is experiencing these sweeping shutdowns in different ways. As Todd Willmore and I talked earlier this week, we both remarked about how everybody continues to point out how this is bigger than sports. There’s no question it is.
And yet, how I experience it – how it has currently affected me – is taking sports away. I miss the games. I miss talking with kids after they’ve seen their picture in the paper. Most of all, I miss talking sports with people who liked them just as much as I do.
As this shuts down everything, my goal is to continue to do what I’ve always done. I’m going to play, write and talk about sports.
It’s all I know to do.