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280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

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Where Were You?

? “Where were you when the world stopped turning” inquired country singer Alan Jackson in his 2002 hit song recorded as a tribute to the victims of 9/11 and a reminder to the American public to stay strong and persevere. Most of us can recall where we were and what we were doing when those

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“Where were you when the world stopped turning” inquired country singer Alan Jackson in his 2002 hit song recorded as a tribute to the victims of 9/11 and a reminder to the American public to stay strong and persevere.

Most of us can recall where we were and what we were doing when those devastating events of that September morning hit us in the face like a sledgehammer. Depending on one’s age similar remembrances can be recalled when JFK was assassinated, the day Elvis Pressley died or the January 1986 explosion of the Challenger space capsule. These were events that came with no warning and immediately captured our attention.

What we are all going thru right now is not the same but we shall certainly all remember the circumstances that have changed our everyday lives. The Coronavirus didn’t sneak up on us. There were warnings it was coming but few expected it would change things so dramatically.

I’ve had a life-long love affair with sports and those who have been so kind to share this weekly space have at least had a passing interest in those games we play and enjoy. But where were you on that March 11 evening when the NBA’s Utah Jazz discovered one of their players, Rudy Gobert, had tested positive for the virus that set in motion the postponement of the sporting world? Like bowling pins being scattered by the accuracy of a 300-bowler the entire sports world stopped turning.

As we had done in several March’s prior Jean and I were at one of our favorite places enjoying the warmth of Arizona and the relaxing enjoyment of Spring Training Baseball. A day earlier we had attended a Chicago White Sox game at the beautiful Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona and had tickets to stake in several more games in the weeks ahead. But 24 hours later we were making plans to return to Pennsylvania much earlier than we had anticipated sitting out the outbreak at home.

I have no connection with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce but if you are a baseball fan and ever get a chance, plan on visiting the Phoenix area when the ‘boys of summer’ are preparing for the season ahead. Like Florida, 15 of MLB’s 30 teams train there. But unlike Florida all the training sites can be reached within a one hour drive from downtown Phoenix. The skies are blue, temperatures are enjoyable, the humidity is low and bugs are hard to find.

Obviously, MLB’s cancellation of Spring Training and the indefinite postponement of the 2020 season was a huge financial blow to the Arizona economy. The Cactus League is a ‘tourism driver’ for the entire region. Recent studies indicated more than 2-million fans attend the spring games generating a $373-million economic bump. A median spending tab of $405 each day is largely spent on game tickets, hotels, food and drink.
But the last few weeks have provided a vivid reminder that sports are not as important as many things we take for granted – like toilet paper.

Indeed, whether it has been the postponement or cancellation of the sports world sometime, hopefully soon, things can return to normal and the vicarious enjoyment we gain from following our favorite teams and players will return to our daily lives. However, sadly those hopes, dreams and thrills that so many local youngsters have spent so many long hours training for may be taken away by an opponent that can’t be seen or really understood.

At this writing it is not known when our schools will reopen or if and when the area sports scene will be able to function. While the Coronavirus may take away games we play, don’t let it take away your love for sports. Without violating the cautions of group gatherings go out and enjoy the sport you love. If you’re a basketball player shoot some hoops. I recently learned of a basketball coach in the southern part of the state that is encouraging his players to find an outdoor hoop and make 1,000 shots a week. Rather than sitting around waiting for school to reopen it will keep them active and direct their energy in a positive way.

Get out in the back yard and play catch, kick the soccer ball around, hit some tennis balls, go for a run. Turn off the TV, put down the video games and have some fun. We are dealing with a serious time. But just in case you are not familiar with the aforementioned Alan Jackson song take a moment and go to whatever source you listen to for music. It will be well worth the 5:07 time commitment while providing some inspiration while fighting this current opponent.

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