Last week, I made a decision to not write my weekly column. Writing a weekly column for over four years has left me somewhat creatively spent. There have even been occasions that I have had a column run during my week off.
So after regrouping for a week, I have found out that it takes some time to get the brain churning again. I have a lot to say, but most of it isn’t worth putting ink to paper or it is a rehash of thoughts that I have previously expressed. So, this column is going to be a hodge podge of different ideas that I decided to comment on. Here goes nothing.
Yep, starting with sports. I noticed that both the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers and the Kevin Durant-led Brooklyn Nets are out of the NBA playoffs. And to that I say — good!
I am tired of seeing several “All-Star” teams getting put together to win championships. These type of scenarios are the reason I don’t watch a lot of a particular sport. The NBA has been hard to watch since the formation of the “Big 3” in Boston, while baseball used to be that way through the 1990s due to the New York Yankees purchasing every available free agent.
When these teams fall, the league benefits. Coming from a place that is constantly considered a “small market,” it is nice to see teams with a less-stacked lineup hoist the trophy at the end. The Golden State Warriors are one of the few teams (pre-Durant) that gave several clubs hope. You draft smart and build a powerhouse — not buy it.
Summer youth baseball
Watching my son and several of his teammates play toss this year, it really got me thinking. While it is my son’s first year in toss, it really should be his second but due to COVID-19 there was no park and recreation youth baseball last year.
A friend and I both noticed that our kids are doing great for first year players, but they probably are not at the level where most second year players would be. We both did our best last year to try to keep our kids engaged and building their skills in sports but it is hard when they aren’t out there playing games with kids their own age.
I wonder how many other parents have talked about what COVID has done to children’s athletic development. While not the most important, the impact of a lost year on youth sports will be felt for years to come across the world in the athletic realm. Hopefully, just like with academics, this is more of a hiccup than an impossible-to-overcome obstacle.
As restrictions are being lifted across the United States, I had ideas on how my summer would pan out. I believe most of us discussed how we weren’t going to waste our time indoors or watching TV during the summer if COVID-19 safety protocols went by the wayside. The worst part about it for myself is that I did have several things mentally planned whenever that would occur.
On the flipside, I am not “YOLO’ing.” I have found myself doing several different mundane tasks around my house and pretty much keeping a low profile. Actually, during Father’s Day weekend, I took two naps and went to bed early both nights.
So, I really have let myself down in regards to summer expectations. My wife and children have found some fun in going to the beach or fishing, but I still am looking for that one event that really encapsulates my perception of what would make a great summer.
I still have about two months left before we get ready again for the school year. I hope the rest of you are making time of a less restrictive summer.
Flip-flops vs. thong sandals
As the summer continues, it isn’t hard to notice that people have ditched regular shoes for sandals. Taking into consideration that most people in the area wear either flip-flops or thong sandals, I have to say that I prefer flip-flops.
I own both types and from what I have been discovering is that despite the excess covering on top of my foot, the flip-flop does not irritate my skin as much as the thong sandal does between my toes. I wonder what others think about the argument, but my vote goes toward the flip-flop.
Zach Stich is the managing editor of the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.