That Is The Question 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

“To be or not to be, that is the question” is the phrase uttered by Prince Hamlet when he is contemplating suicide instead of dealing with a life that seems so unfair.

“To play or not to play” is the question facing school boards, administrators, and athletic directors as they contemplate the upcoming start of a new school year.  Both colleges and high schools across the nation have yet to determine what to do.  The decision is, one would think, certainly not as dire as the one facing Hamlet, although, for too many perhaps, it IS a matter of “life or death”.  Sports can affect people that way.

You have heard the phrase uttered by Dr. Fauci quite often and this is the dilemma facing the decision makers – “You don’t make the timeline; the virus determines the timeline”.  Although many across the nation are now protesting the conclusion of that statement, it is as true today as when it was spoken on March 25.  And, if we still agree with the science, then the decision to not only play sports, but to even open up high schools and college campuses across the country is still being determined by the virus.

With that said, there are contingency plans, obviously.  Here are some thoughts being bantered about:

  • No classes; no sports
  • Start the season as scheduled in September (or actually late August)
  • Start the season in late September and end in December
  • Start the season in September or October and play only league games
  • Start the season in January or February, knowing classes will resume (works for colleges; not for high schools)
  • Play, but with no fans, or hope there is a solution to maintaining “social distancing” (easier in high school; not so for colleges)

Almost all of these ideas have merit at the college level, but some would be very difficult to incorporate into the high school scenario.  College athletes primarily play just one sport.  Athletes at the high school level play many sports all year round.  A winter or spring coach certainly would argue against a fall season that conflicts with his/her roster and season.  One would think that fall sports at the high school level, at least, must occur in the fall or not at all.

Hamlet was Shakespeare’s longest play and one of his most tragic.

It appears that Co-Vid 19 will be here for a long time and it is certainly one of the most tragic historical events ever.

Shakespeare not only wrote “To be or not to be” for Hamlet.  In the same play, Shakespeare also penned, “The play’s the thing”.  Now it is up to administrators at every level to decide within the next month or so whether “To play is the thing”.  Stay tuned.  Let the arguments begin. 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. Speaking of contingency plans, major league baseball was in the news this week as they appear to be moving closer to having a shortened season (82 games). The problem now appears to be getting the players to play for a lot less money than their contracts demand.  That issue may be the hardest to overcome.  Most, if not all, revenue would come from television.
  1. It was April 6, 1973, when baseball’s American League sent the first designated hitter (DH) to the plate. It has been an American staple ever since, but not in the National League.  It appears that with a shortened season and different divisional alignments, the DH will be used this year in the National League.  Will it stay after Corona remains to be seen.
  1. The national rules committee for high school sports, once again, turned down a shot clock for high school basketball. The late Coach Dick Tracy of Whitehall is happy.  No one used the absence of a shot clock better than he did.  For me, I would like to see a shot clock incorporated into the high school game.
  1. The Blue Mountain League regular season has been cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.  However, they are tentatively planning a tournament style short season starting in mid to late July.  This season will culminate in a final game to be played sometime during the second weekend of August.  RCN-TV hopes to bring you some of those games, should they be played.
  1. Keep enjoying our look back of some of the memorable broadcasts of this past year. We will be back eventually, hopefully, sooner and safer than ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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