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 a music degree from Ohio State University.


If you think that fall sports – football and volleyball – and the other fall sports are a certainty in wake of Covid 19, guess again.  Dollars to dimes we’ll be told that the only way we’ll play is to do exactly as government says.

My phone rang last week…a familiar number from a frequent caller.

“Do you think kids will have to prove they’ve been vaccinated before the can play fall sports this year?”  the caller asked.  “That’s what the governor said today…if you want to play fall sports you’d better get a shot.”

Well, that’s kind of what he said.  Quote:  “The vaccine is our ticket to allow athletes to live up to their dreams and compete,”  said DeWine at a staged event in Worthington.  “We know that vaccine is our most effective tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and our ticket to get back to the way things used to be. For many students, that means getting back to playing sports or being involved in student activities with fewer restrictions. By getting vaccinated students will be protecting themselves and each other.” 

Do we know that?  Really?  You’re sure?

Spoken like a true politician, of course.  Mike DeWine actually feels very strongly both ways – it’s your body, your life, your schools, and your choice, so you can vote for him in 2024 because he supports your right to choose.

On the other hand…he’s out here saving lives, giving away millions of dollars so people will get the shot and his approval rating will go up for the sake of public safety.  So remember it was him that pulled out all the stops to save Grandma last year when you vote in 2024.

Of course, he’s also the guy who said you couldn’t visit Grandma in the nursing home as she drew her last breath during the height of Covid ignorance in March of 2020.  Said it wasn’t safe.

He was the guy quoting science when the science was questionable in those early days, just some theories – models – the CDC was dishing out.

Concerning another theory…that if you were in otherwise good health, not obese, not diabetic, hadn’t smoked four packs a day since graduation, and hadn’t consumed a 30-pack of Busch Lite every day, you were 99% safe from the Covid virus.  The oldest science on record – the human immune system – has always protected us from colds, flu, and viruses.

So when the vaccine finally appeared last winter a lot of people predictably said, “No thanks.  I think I’ll take my chances.”  Freedom of choice?  Hell no.

The president said he wanted 70% of us poked in the arm by the 4th of July…as part of his legacy.  And if you don’t go along you’re going to be denied some basic liberties of living like an American.  You know, we’ve got to protect the others from you – those who don’t know there is natural immunity.

When that failed to rev up the shot campaign we heard of the Delta variant in Europe – more virulent, more contagious, more dangerous, and last week announced that 20% of the new cases in the US were Delta cases.  And by the way, if you get the same shot that you get for Covid 19 you’ll be fine…probably.  But who’s sure?  The Delta variant’s brand new.  More theory.

I have not personally gotten the vaccine to this point, and it’s questionable if I will.  I have family members who call me selfish and uncaring because my opinion to this point has been shaped by the constant flip-flopping of Faucci, media fatigue, and the World Health Organization, that last week announced on June 21st that teens and children SHOULD NOT be vaccinated because of cases of myocarditis in adolescents who have received both doses of the vaccine.

I’m told by one, “That I don’t know how you sleep at night, knowing you’re not safely vaccinated.  Well I don’t sleep that well, anyway, but it’s because of ‘BPH’, not my conscience.

I’m asked, “Aren’t you afraid?”

No, not of germs.

My actual fear is that come August we’re going to be right back in the same vise as last year regarding the Ohio Department of Health, DeWine, and the OHSAA telling us it isn’t safe to play fall sports…unless you get a shot, and then a booster, and then more boosters.  Because, who really believes that the Delta variant is the last one?  Prediction:  Five years from now your arm is going to look like pin cushion.

Now, if you’re one of those who does sleep peacefully because you think the government cares about you, have at it.  But I would urge you to also be ‘tolerant’ of those who’d rather make their own life choices;  and quit beating them up with science.

I’d like to believe this time that DeWine will tell school districts that they’re on their own as to whether they feel safe to play, and play without being vaccinated.  I’d like to believe he can run the state without micro-managing with that umbrella of fear that he and Husted lean on for headlines and political appeal.

I’d like to believe that if they crank up the volume again come August there’s a loud, resolute response from the populace, saying, “No thanks.  We’ll take it from here this time.”

And please, no more PSAs from Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer saying Ohioans can do anything if we just work together.  Again, nice public relations…but they didn’t say how long we have to work.

One year seems enough, given all the stimuli and the inconclusive data as to who’s at risk, how great the risk, and how long do we respect the moving target of the daily pressers?

Safety?  Peace of mind?  Seriously?

Mandated vaccines to play?  Good fear tactic, but I don’t believe so.  It would cost Mike some sleepless nights, and a lot of votes.

One wonders if he has that many to spare.