I’ve been at this gig for 40 years now and for almost all of 40 of them there have been people, maybe you, sidling up to me and saying, “You know what you really ought to write about is ...”
And for roughly 40 years I’ve been pretty well ignoring them, maybe even you.
For the most part the directives went in one ear and — didn’t even pass Go — right out the other.
Well, probably not you, of course, unless the suggestion involved a close cousin’s son who the pros were taking a hard look at (they weren’t; I checked).
But, yes, call it arrogance, call it laziness, call it what you want. But for the most part I’ve just assumed I was smarter than the average bear, maybe even you, and went on about my business of b.s.-ing through another day’s essay.
If you looked closely, I may have been rolling my eyes at your helpful suggestion.
Well, those days are over.
Apologies are in order.
We’re in a sports lock down now.
We’re probably only in the beginning of this moratorium. Certainly the end isn’t in sight yet.
I need your help. I need ideas. Column ideas.
The sports have vanished, but the sports page is still here.
So now’s your chance.
I’m not rolling my eyes anymore.
I’m all ears, both of them. Let me hear from you.
These are unprecedented times, so we need unprecedented ideas.
No, we’re not too proud to beg. Give them to me. Now. We’re taking all comers.
No suggestion is too lamebrain. No idea too far out there.
We can even continue to practice social distancing as we ...
Wait. Hey, there’s a column right there.
“Social distancing,” the hot new phrase that’s been added to our language in the last week will surely soon slip its way into sports journalism.
“Struggling cornerback Chunky Fingers practiced social distancing against wide receiver Wide Open O’Mara Saturday night and the easy touchdown by Foul U. means Your School won’t be making the playoffs.”
OK, maybe not.
But back to how you can be part of the solution while still keeping a safe distance, which is preferable since as I understand it one of the unintended consequences of this self isolation thing is that many people, maybe even you, are washing their hands 42 times a day but neglecting to otherwise bathe or shower.
Anyway, at the end of the missive there’s an email address, probably mine, which leads straight to my laptop, usually to its junk folder. But I check the junk folder regularly, too, just to see what exiled Nigerian finance minister needs my assistance to distribute millions of dollars to the masses, maybe even to you.
Or maybe not.
But I should get your email.
And you could get a trophy.
You probably won’t
But you could, that’s the point.
It just won’t come from this fox hole.
Which, in a roundabout way, makes it occur to me that this is the sports season that America has been building toward.
Everybody gets a trophy.
Or, rather, in this new age of nonexistent sports, everybody would have gotten a trophy if they’d handed out any this winter and spring sports season.
With the canceled seasons stockpiling, there aren’t enough if’s and woulda-coulda-shoulda’s to go around.
The conference basketball tournaments only managed to eliminate a scant few teams before all the courts were cleared.
As I understand it — and keep in mind this comes from social media, so it’s undisputable — every other basketball program in the land was poised to make a “deep run” into the tournament, possibly even shock the world and probably win the whole Big Dance.
At least a dozen of them could be taken seriously.
Hey, don’t laugh. Some of us still remember how Central Florida won the 2017 football national championship.
Same bragging rights. But, sadly, no parades at Disney World for the time being.
And that’s just basketball.
You can imagine what’s going on with college baseball. Same for softball.
Baseball was right there just about to transition into its conference schedules.
So after further review — the fine-tuning and whatnot from the preconference schedules — every team out there was just now figuring it out, right on schedule, ready to dominate with the pitching and hitting coming together at just the right time to ransack the sport en route to Omaha.
Go ahead. Prove them wrong.
The new one on me was that LSU has become a national power in ... you already guessed, didn’t you? ... beach volleyball.
The dickens, you probably say.
But it’s true. Not just any national power. The Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the sport.
LSU even built a beach, right on campus, for the occasion.
So give them the trophy. Give everybody one before I go crazy.
And give me some ideas for a better column next time out.
SCOOTER HOBBS covers LSU athletics. Contact him at email@example.com