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Cress Pass: Sports are a reward for sacrifice during this pandemic. Let's hope those who want them back lead by example.
Cress Pass

Cress Pass: Sports are a reward for sacrifice during this pandemic. Let's hope those who want them back lead by example.

This is how you handle things in a pandemic.

The Korean Baseball Organization will shut down its season for three weeks if a single player tests positive for COVID-19. I would not have been surprised if, a month in, the KBO would have had a shutdown.

Instead, despite an upsurge of virus cases in South Korea, 10 weeks into the season there have been no shutdowns in the KBO.

There have been no fans at the games, either. But there have been no shutdowns.

Not only has the American Cornhole League been able to carry on, there were actually LIVE FANS, not cutouts, at a doubles championship I watched earlier this week.

The facility held a fraction of the fans it had a capacity for, and the fans were well-distanced and wore masks. Still, there were fans there.

Actually, merely by being there, the fans were reaping the rewards for being well-disciplined during this pandemic. They, very likely, had distanced, had worn masks.

In other words, they had done their jobs. Thus, they were rewarded by getting to actually see a sports event in person.

The players were reaping rewards too. They knew that, if they wanted to have a season at all, they had better be ready to endure frequent testing and remain pretty much cloistered among their non-infected peers when they were away from home.

They have been willing to do that and, at the competition I watched, they earned one of the richest rewards of all - cheering spectators at their event.

European soccer has been able to proceed. So, too, have sports in the U.S., that have slow-walked out of lockdown, golf, auto racing, the UFC and, most recently, NWSL soccer.

The Basketball Tournament has lost five teams because of the virus but still, the $1 million winner-take-all tournament is proceeding.

The MLS started its return-to-play tournament Wednesday, though the league has hit some road blocks after FC Dallas pulled out of the tournament with at least 10 players infected.

There have been other hitches, with positive tests, among some sports in the U.S. that have resumed but they have kept moving forward.

With the state of the virus in the U.S., that is no small feat. Let’s face it, the country is taking a beating.

There is a common thread among the sports that have been able to keep going forward. Everyone involved has done, with no small amount of sacrifice, what they need to do to keep their respective seasons going.

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Because they realize that if they don’t, there will no longer be a season.

The sports that have re-started are doing OK. It’s the sports that are TRYING to resume, such as the NHL, NBA and MLB, that are running into snags, with increased positive tests, etc.

This doesn’t surprise me. The sports that were able to re-start did so before the virus got a foothold for the alarming surge that has taken place in many places in the country.

Besides, the longer a sport has to wait before it re-starts, the bigger the chance its people will get more and more out and about in their communities, which of course increases the chance of becoming infected.

It was hugely disappointing when area schools pulled back on their plans to bring athletes back to campus, but they made the right choice. There was no other option, really. Things have been trending the wrong way with the virus on the Central Coast for awhile. There is a lot of virus out there.

People who long to start again in their respective sports should look to the example set by the vast majority of those who have done so.

They’re doing the right things, and they are reaping the rewards.

Player of the Decade: We're looking for the top player of the last 10 seasons

The sports staff at the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News is looking for the top football player from Northern Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County over the last 10 seasons of high school ball.

See who our nominees are thus far.

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.

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