After all this time and what felt like so much progress made, here we are again.

High school football and girls soccer -- and possibly more -- will not be starting on time this fall and there’s a very real chance they won’t even happen at all in 2020 depending on the course of action the TSSAA chooses to take. Maybe Clarksville Academy and the other private schools in the area will still get some action in, but even then, it won’t even be legal until after Week 2 at the earliest. 

COVID-19 deaths are down for the most part. That’s good! At the same time, cases are going up which is not so good. It might be a step toward herd immunity, assuming that option is still on the table, or it could be the start of the dreaded second wave that we all know is coming. 

Everyone has someone that they’ll blame, whether those opinions are based in any kind of fact or not. The simplest thing I can say is that you should wear a mask when you’re out in public if you want your precious sports to come back on time.

That said, there is good news. Gov. Bill Lee’s extension on the state of emergency prohibiting contact sports does not apply to college sports, leaving the door open for Austin Peay and other college football programs to start in late August. It also gives the NFL a chance to get through the preseason. 

But once again, none of those things are guaranteed at this point. This week, APSU announced that 11 student athletes tested positive for COVID-19 after only about two weeks of optional practices among themselves. Imagine how quickly things could escalate after a few months of teams playing against one another every weekend. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not optimistic right now. I don’t feel great about football, but that could all change if the MLB and NBA restarts go smoothly. But I don’t foresee that they will.

I’ve been filling the baseball void in my life with Out of the Park ‘21, a computer-run baseball simulation game that allows you to take the reins as the general manager of any team in any league in any time period that you want. After being so enthralled by SBNation’s YouTube docu-series on the Seattle Mariners (which I highly recommend checking out), I had to take control of the franchise to get them to their first ever World Series. It’s… not going well so far. I’ll get there though.

Oh, you know what also sucks? The NHL and their stupid lottery. Let me be a salty Red Wings fan for a moment here; how is it that the team who was the worst in the league BY FAR this season has a 50 percent chance of picking FOURTH overall instead of being widely favored to pick first? It might have been a little bit easier to stomach if another terrible team had landed that No. 1 overall pick, but no -- it’ll be a playoff team picking there instead! How in the world is that justifiable at all? 

Whatever. It’s all rigged anyway, right? Right?! I’ll just keep reminding myself that the Wings beat the Predators this season in my first game at Bridgestone Arena. That ought to cheer me up.

Another sports thought that brings me immense joy is that Emoni Bates, the best high school basketball player in the country and one the three best since LeBron James, has committed to hoop at Michigan State! 

While an incredibly exciting thought, I do need to prepare myself for the chance that he makes like some other superstar prospect and spurns the NCAA for the G-League, but let a man dream.

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