A large response in recent weeks over fall high school sports, should there be a focus on kids having ‘fun’ (given the circumstances), politics governing sports…and the debut of the Press Pros Wednesday Night Huddle show.

If there was EVER any question as to division within the country, or the state, or the county, or even a zip code, it’s become apparent in recent days and with recent reader responses to the fall high school sports season…and in particular, to our August 31st column highlighting adolescent athletes setting aside the burdens of the day in favor of a little simple ‘fun’ playing sports.

In some cases, not only division, but hard feelings as to why some can, and some can’t…..

“Dear Sir…I cannot respect your attitude that we should play sports regardless of who it infects, or kills, if that’s what you believe. From the ‘fun’ article of August 31. you seem to forget that there are other priorities, and there have always been during times of war and national crisis. You seem to overlook that people are getting sick, dying, in favor of kids playing meaningless games that risk the spread of the Covid virus. I cannot agree with such activity over regard for human kindness and compassion. Please show some respect for the other side of the issue, as you put it…”#Where’s the #fun”.  The ‘fun’ comes from knowing that other people care.” … Daniel Krickmore

(Ed. Note: Daniel, as to the passion of your response I commend you. As to its rationale, I question. You seem to disregard that one man’s “meaningless” is another man’s motivation to live, adapt, and enjoy life while he can. You forget that we live in a country of majority rule…and the fact released this past week by the Center of Disease Control that the reality of deaths related to Covid is not nearly as dire as previously reported. And as to some of the facts included in your response (which we must edit for space) you disregard this one…that when the governor was asked about that ‘fact’ in his recent news conference he literally dismissed the CDC’s findings. Yes, there have always been priorities during times of crisis, but you can’t ration life like we rationed gas during World War II. And you cannot inhibit an entire next generation’s growth and development by telling them to live their lives according to what benefits .002% of the population.  And last, don’t ever disregard to power of ‘fun’ to make life a little brighter for everyone…if they choose.)

“While there are many things about Press Pros that are superior, your opinions don’t speak for us all regarding risk and priority.  You speak of percentages, but no one is really getting cheated if we miss a season of football for the sake of a small percentage who actually play.  A lot of us believe in the bigger picture.  I wonder if you might consider that, too, before you write about who’s having fun, and who’s not.”  … Jasper (Youngstown, OH)

(Ed. Note:  What you write is subjective, of course, which is just as hard to understand as objectivity at times.  But relative to fact, as you say, according to the source ‘statista.com’ there were about 1.2 million high school boys who played football in 2019, which accounts for about .4% of the population.  And while there have been 6.2 million of Covid cases in America, the Center for Disease Control shared this fact last week that only 7,000 of deaths in America are attributable solely to the virus (about.00002%).  So there are a LOT of ‘smaller percentages’ to consider, and a lot of opinions about everything in America.  For instance, if 1.2 million people say their ballot was lost in the mail, someone’s bound to write that those people have been cheated, and that .4% will become a big deal.  Comparatively, I don’t think a column about high school boys having fun playing football is all that harmful.)

“A great article!  I hope the ‘fun’ continues.”  … Wm. Winner (via Facebook)

“I enjoyed the article because you consider the reality of balance in life.  You need to play, and you need to have fun, even in stressful times.  Life without fun makes all of us less than what we can be.”  …  Dr. Jas. Kline

“Great insight.  People have been stressed and they lash out in irrational ways.  Be sure to have some FUN.”  … Tony Rose (Via Facebook)

It comes as no surprise that people have written to express their opinion about politics…especially with high school sports:

“The state protocols will destroy high school sports in small rural communities, and for what?”  … James Pike

“This governor (DeWine) is the worst for talking out of both sides of his mouth.  He says it’s for communities to decide on how to live and play sports, then he slaps [on] a list of demands that make it hard for people to live and even watch sports.”  … Carol Voorhees

“Term limits, anyone?” … Greg (Waverly, OH)

“I’m disappointed in your continual jabs at Governor DeWine for trying to make the best of a bad situation. He has a responsibility to all the people in Ohio, and not just to those who like sports.  While I love the Press Pros site I wish you would stop.  You’re better than that.”  … Dennis Wallen

(Ed. Note:  No, I’m not.)

When Bruce Hooley left Sports Illustrated.com to resume his association with Press Pros in June, one of his first priorities was to bring a more live and in-the-moment presence to the site.  Hence, the recent addition of the Wednesday Night Huddle streaming show on Facebook and Twitter.  Here are some of the first reviews:

“I definitely am watching. Love everything you guys do.  Keep up the great work!”  … Ryan Bloomfield  (Wheelersburg)

“Love the show.  Will be watching again next week.”  … Dennis Parks (Columbus)

“Great show for area high school football.  Lots of information and insight.”  … Evan Martz

“Rare opportunity to hear coach Tim Goodwin last week.  Amazing record and story at Marion Local.”  … Tom Killilea