Reading between the lines isn’t that hard
For 30 minutes on Wednesday, I sat trying to tune in the TSSAA special called meeting to vote on which option the board would select to go forward
with the football season from the four previous ones they had identified in a meeting last week.
I found myself refreshing the site several times as there was no sound coming from the meeting and I thought maybe they were having a technical issue on their end.
Come to find out, the board apparently spent that time trying to figure out how to present their information in a brief 10 minutes with about five of those minutes spent on talking about free cameras that were going to be given to schools to help film games to show on the NFHS network.
TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress then came on and promptly ask that the vote be delayed while the TSSAA continued to work with Governor Lee’s legal counsel.
Now, I have said it before and I will say it again, I probably am not the smartest apple on the tree but I have gotten pretty decent about being able to read between the lines of what is being said.
You have that special talent after raising two children by the way.
I have told a couple of people right after the board released the four options that I thought that the decisions were coming off pretty risky considering the current state of what was going on with the increase with COVID-19 cases throughout the state.
At best, I personally felt that when August 29th came that I wouldn’t be surprised to see the state of emergency for Tennessee to be extended at least 30 to 60 days beyond that and possibly longer.
Most held tight to their optimism that football practice would get started on August 30 and games would start around September 11th. And while I too wanted to believe, the common sense side of me said this just wasn’t going to be the case.
Then on Wednesday when Childress made his recommendation to hold off on the vote, the words that followed had to be listened closely to in deciphering what was possibly happening.
In my opinion, the coded message was this – the Coronavirus is still increasing and at this rate, there would be no need to make a decision on any of the four choices because it really wouldn’t make a difference if you picked option one or option three.
If a person could have been a fly on the wall during the meeting with the legal counsel, I am sure that the advice given was simply that things cannot proceed with the evolving caseload of COVID-19.
Football and soccer just can’t be played due to contact with the constant increase in the virus.
Then Childress followed that up by saying that if there was to be any girls’ soccer or football, it would take everyone doing their part by wearing face masks, social distancing, and wash hands on a regular basis.
That would be the only way to get the numbers down to where the sports could be played.
In other words – There is no way these sports are going to be played for a while. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to interpret what is being said. It only takes someone to be honest enough to spell it out in black and white.
Herein lies my frustration right now.
The lack of decision making on the part of the TSSAA is going to put the sports seasons for all sports into such a quandary that once again someone is going to miss out on the opportunity to participate in the sport they love.
Football will be played whether now or in the spring so once again why is the TSSAA delaying their decisions instead of going ahead and making the call to move the spring sports to the fall and the fall sports to the spring.
Many may not like this thought process, but its better than not having anything at all.
And by the time we get to the end of August, it might not matter at all anyway.
It was like Elizabethton athletic director Forrest Holt told me recently is that he hoped that whatever the decision was that it would be in the best interest of the student-athletes and coaches.
After all, these kids and coaches are more important than any dollar figure deposited in a banking account.