Uncertain future, uncertain outcomes

Celebration of small school sports

Daniel Newman, Sports Editor

Congratulations Falcons, we’ve made it. We’ve enjoyed our Thanksgiving and Holiday breaks, and now we’re on to 2021. It’s another landmark point, and still, to me, everything feels muted.

Sports are a big part of my life, so much so I dressed up as a sports fan for Halloween in 2019 and attended the Emerson Hall Halloween party. (Blake Dahlin)

Right as break hit, the case numbers began to rise again. No Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with the inlaws. As an introvert who doesn’t enjoy going out too much anyway, I didn’t mind this all that much. Wake up, look at the phone, switch to the laptop, switch to the Xbox, switch to the TV, repeat ad nauseam.

However, the holiday season that is normally so enjoyable for me just felt similar to Spring break, where there’s really no point to the break except the break itself. Christmas morphed from a season to an hour long celebration. What is a celebration if you’re not surrounded by family and friends?

Yes, we’ve made it here, but as I’m sure I’ve said or thought before over the past nine months, “What’s the point?” Life feels different now, but so do sports, which are one of my biggest passions.

Scrolling through my social media feed on March 12th was a very depressing feeling, not only because of all the pain and sadness in the world, but because of all the sporting events that were being canceled. College basketball championships, the NBA regular season, MLB spring training, the list went on and on. I say this while acknowledging that these cancellations were completely necessary considering the circumstances, but it was still a painful moment.

If it was painful for me, I can’t imagine how painful it has been for all the athletes around the country who are still unable to play sports. Professional and bigger colleges’ sports have returned, but here at Seattle Pacific University, we still wait. How much I wish for a return of our sports.

Being with other people is something that I miss, especially the community of a dorm floor. This picture is also from Fall of 2019 with my RA Tim Strachan and friends Mohammed Al’Naar and Carlo Reyes. (Courtesy of Daniel Newman)

A plan was put in place for a conference basketball season this year, but that plan has sadly fallen through. Again, our athletes are left in limbo, wondering how long it will be until they play in an actual college game again. Meanwhile, coaches in all the sports search high and low, looking for teams willing to play them.

Still, when faced with difficult circumstances, there is only one thing to do: Keep moving forward. I will go to classes, whether online or in person, turn in the papers and worksheets, study for the tests and take them, watch random tv shows, wear my mask in public, and sleep when I can. When sports return for the Falcons, I will cheer for them from my TV or my laptop, as this is the option that generates the most safety.

While I love all sports, I found a new appreciation and love for them when I entered high school. When I was in JR. High, the school would let us younger kids get into one game a year free. I would always go, but spend most of my time talking to friends, as our team was fairly good and would always blow out the other team.

But when I began attending high school, I slowly attended more and more games from every sport, and I began to enjoy them more. I feel that this was because I began to see athletes less as athletes and more like people. When I saw the athletes in a school context, it reminded me of who they were as people. Cheering them on in the stands made me feel a part of something bigger.

This is why I am so passionate about high school and college sports. With professional sports, you can live in Seattle but root for an entirely different team. With smaller schools, it feels more like a community, and because of that, it feels more special to me. Sure, I miss going to Mariners games occasionally, but what I really miss is taking in a soccer game at Interbay or a basketball or volleyball game at Royal Brougham on a Saturday.

As the Falcon enters a new year, I promise that the Sports section of the Falcon will do our best to discover and generate exciting story ideas that will be entertaining for you, our audience. I want our section to be an inside look at everything related to sports or being active going on or around the SPU campus.

Sometimes this can be difficult, and motivation can be tough, but it is my job to provide you with the news, and I will make sure that my staff and I complete that task to the best of our ability.

After all, all I can do is move forward. Through these difficult times, I have learned it is better to cherish the life and circumstances I have instead of longing for the life I used to have.