Now, we might be in trouble.
After nine months of high school sports, there is nothing left.
By the time anyone reads this, it will be all over.
Memorial Day is the official end of the high school season, at least in Maryland, and now scary times are ahead.
From the sports side, all the games, stats and human interest that goes with local sports is at a stand still.
It’s break time as seniors graduate and underclassman begin preparing in earnest for the 2022-23 seasons.
But there is more — at least symbolically — missing.
Like it or not, this break in prep sports also starts a break in patriotism as we know it.
This will be labeled as a stretch by many, but many will be taking a break from Americana as they pack up and head to a beach somewhere.
Memorial Day has some deep meaning. It’s a federal holiday used to mourn and remember the US military personnel who have died while serving in the armed forces.
Some — mostly those who have lost family members and friends in combat — visit cemeteries and memorials to honor and mourn those who died while serving.
For others, it’s a checkmark on the calendar to signify a four-day work week and a long weekend.
The world as we know it has lost its direction.
It’s becoming more pronounced that we are taking what we have for granted.
Sports is about the only patriotic thing this country does.
With a few minor exceptions, sporting events are the only place where groups of citizens hear the national anthem.
Hearing is one thing. Taking it seriously is something completely different.
In my 40-plus years in my profession, I have stood and witnessed countless renditions of the anthem.
From Little League games through college contests, these events are about the only place where we as Americans stand “to honor America by standing for the national anthem.”
That seems to be a shame, especially in our current state of affairs.
I admit I’m old enough to remember being among a bunch of elementary school kids who would stand every day in our classrooms for the anthem being piped in over the school public address system.
It was followed by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
And in that time period, broadcast television stations weren’t a 24/7/365 endeavor.
Back in the time without cable or satellite TV — when you needed an antenna to get the signal — stations would go off the air between midnight and 2 am
The end of the broadcast day was celebrated by the playing of the national anthem.
Like everything else, those times have changed.
Now, the anthem is reserved for celebrating at the Olympic Games, when national anthems of gold-medal winners are played in their honor.
This weekend, we officially kicked off the unofficial start of summer.
Memorial Day sits in the midst of a six-week window that commemorates the people who gave us the ability to freely do what we like, like going to the beach.
It all started on May 21 with Armed Forces Day, which kicks off Military Appreciation Month. That includes Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) as another May military-themed holiday, according to Military.com.
The stretch is capped by Independence Day (ie Fourth of July), which has become another federal, head-to-the-beach holiday.
Its original purpose was to celebrate the Declaration of Independence, the document that gave the United States its freedom and the rights we flaunt.
If there’s ever been a time to take the “patriotic” qualities we see in sports and reinsert them back into everyday life, it’s now.
There have been three major shooting events in May — Milwaukee, Buffalo and now Uvalde, Texas.
This isn’t a debate about guns or the right to own them. It’s about trying to figure out a way to keep the horrific use of them from continuously happening.
Back in those broadcast TV days, my generation of kids believed that all our grownups would find a way to work together to keep us all safe.
But now, everyone seems to be worried about trampling the rights we are supposed to be celebrating more than trying to prevent another incident.
It comes down to a number of battles — left vs. right; red vs. blue; Democrat vs. Republican; and liberal vs. conservative.
The only battle that counts is safety for Americans.
We constantly say sports teaches lessons for a lifetime. Teamwork, unity, leadership, discipline and character top the chart.
These are all things needed right now. There shouldn’t be any opponents, just teammates.
I’m out of my normal end of the pool here, but having folks standing around, marking territory and pointing fingers isn’t going to get anything fixed.
One of the classic, and maybe cliché, mottos in sports is “There is no’I’ in’Team.’” There is more success when teammates work together.
The problem right now is there is an “I” in “United States.”