Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University where he pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 through 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites, and for the past fourteen years has served as columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, support for amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he has dual degrees in music from Ohio State University.

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The governor has said it’s OK to eat out, and get a haircut.  There will soon be a version of major league baseball.  Bet your life fall sports is next.  And then…what?

I went to bed Thursday night with this thought.

The governor said Thursday that we could eat in a restaurant again next week – that we could go get a haircut.  By the end of the month, proportionately, there won’t be anything that we’ve ever done that we can’t do again.

Like every other politician, he’s seen the light.  This is a capitalistic country.  We thrive and depend on the economy.  People work in America.  They produce.   They’re profitable.  They depend on their own ingenuity – a lot of them risk-takers.  Call it what you will, but if Americans aren’t unleashed to do what we do – what we’ve always done – politicians have no future.  It takes money to be an American, and to be a politician in America.  And if you tell the people that they can’t do what they do long enough – if they can’t pursue life, liberty, and happiness – politicians get kicked to the curb.

What Mike DeWine did Friday – what Donald Trump has talked about for a month – is little more than the American example of risk and reward.  If doesn’t matter about calamity, or pandemic, or even driving your car to work.  You never know when your time is come, even as the old prophets claimed before Christ.  Your days are numbered as the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7).  Life in America, at the end of the day…is about risk and reward.

So now we re-open the state – the nation.  Major League Baseball has it figured out.  There has to be baseball for the collective sanity of the country.  Agreed, but reality…it has to be played because there has to be some money made.  And that same realization will govern the NFL starting right on time, come September.  Sports, at that level, is a very expensive risk.  Risk…and reward.

There will be college football.  Financially, there has to be, and imagine Ohio without the Buckeyes on a crisp fall day.  That’s just the cultural emotion of it, but imagine the budget at Ohio State University if they don’t play football.  You’re talking about nearly a billion dollars impact per year.  And the truth is…there’s only about five college sports programs in America that could exist for ONE YEAR without the financial impact of football, and Ohio State’s one of them.  Take football away and the sports future of Kansas State, Virginia Tech, and UC…collapses.

ML Dunn has moved. Check out their new location on West National Road in Englewood.

And then high school.  What do we do about high schools, come September?  Imagine the discussions in Columbus, the lobbying and the wringing of hands.  What to do, and who’s going to pull the trigger to do it?  You’re a hero if you say ‘yes’ and it all goes right.  You’re the man with blood on your hands if it doesn’t.  Risk and reward.

We all need sports.  By now there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind.  We’re sick of watching re-runs.  We need something to think about beside pandemic, death, and another depression.  We’re healthier, happier, and more encouraged when there’s sports.  Risk and reward.

Our kids grow up with more sense of purpose in the face of healthy competition – Friday night lights.  They learn life lessons that we’ve accepted for generations – how to cope.  If you get knocked down you get back up and play on, even against a virus.  Risk and reward.

And what if we do play on?  What if we live on?  And what if someone does get sick?

At my age I cringe every time I go to the doctor – every time I have a blood test.  Heart, Alzheimer’s or prostate?  What’ll it be?  And when?

If I drive to Columbus (which I often do), there’s no guarantee I get there in one piece.  We see accidents every day.  We’ll fly again.  We’ll read about the tragedies.  Always someone else.  Risk and reward?

Next year there’ll be a flu season.  Fifty thousand will die from it, and yet…we get up the next day and go to work.  The risk of living.

You see, we have to live, and life is a risk.  We love living a certain way in America and with that comes more risks.  In the meantime, a virus is having its way and no one knows what to do next – except to lean on science and what we’ve learned from history.  Rely on our habits, our stubbornness, and live beyond the reality of empathy and common sense – like we always have.  Bad things do happen when you live like an American.

And yet, the faith and conviction that we’ll get through it.  We tell ourselves every day.  We always have.

What next?

Risk…and reward.

Arbogast Ford, in Troy, is proud to support area sports on Press Pros Magazine.

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