High School Return to Play, D-backs and Archie

Archie Bradley was sent packing on Monday. Again, we have a popular player in the community who failed to start and finish his career in the Valley. Shane Doan did it. Larry Fitzgerald looks like he’s a shoe-in to do the same. Being critical of the Diamondbacks for moving “The Beard” is the easy thing to do, until you step back and see the big picture. They aren’t going to catch the Dodgers anytime soon and San Diego has zoomed past them. The Diamondbacks are boring. No other way to put it. Blue dot on a blue wall boring. San Diego has the freshest face in baseball with Fernando Tatis. You can hate LA all you want, but the Dodgers have star power, deep pockets, and an ability to develop superstars within their own farm system. The Diamondbacks currently don’t have any of those ingredients. Let’s not sugar coat this.

Form the “You can’t make this stuff up file”. The Diamondbacks charged their season ticket holders their first installment payment for 2021 season tickets yesterday. I had several season ticket holders drop notes on this overnight…

 

Those who think that our state has handled  the return of high school sports correctly raise your hand..

 

 

Our Governor kicked the can, the AIA kicked the can, and now the football community has watched three weeks of high school games from around the country on ESPN. Many are beyond angry over the uncertainty of return to play on October 2nd. Ask programs like Pinnacle, Horizon, or Notre Dame Prep what the definitive date is for them to return to play as of this morning (there isn’t one).  You have Tucson on an island until spring and Phoenix Union kids and coaches are staggering to get it figured out, which will impact their 2021 season too.

This all started going off the tracks in late June.  We needed one voice saying, “We are stopping all activities until further notice”. Of course there would’ve been programs breaking the rules, as more than a few coaches and AD’s have told me during all of this, “We can’t fall behind the school down the street, because they will have an unfair advantage over us when we play them”.  Not having everyone on the same calendar in the Valley makes ZERO sense, no matter how others may try to justify it. The districts in the East Valley are being held hostage by the rest of the county, which simply isn’t right. You’re in, or you’re out. That’s it. 

 

Grabbed a beer with a coaching friend the other night, “I”m worried about losing the kids focus if they push back again on Wednesday, we’ve been going twice a day for awhile now and alot of them are close to breaking.”

One athletic director on Monday, “our girls volleyball coach may quit if they push the date back again, she’s had it.”

Three head football coaches on Monday “my AD says the vote is going to be very close.”

Another “it’s just not fair how they’ve drug this out and made it harder on my players. Online learning has been tough enough.”

I’ve kept my opinion out of this since late June, when it was obvious that the madness needed to stop. Shutting down was appropriate through July 20. I went to Governor Ducey and asked him directly why he hadn’t gotten involved on whether to play or not, as many governors had done earlier in summer. He kicked the can down the road. It’s obvious now that the delay’s were too heavy. Sports should’ve opened back up on August 1st, Instead,  girls volleyball and football won’t see games for another FOUR weeks.

When the AIA pushed their ruling back last week, I’ve never heard more anger and venom from all sides. Some athletic directors were warned to “prepare your coaches for another delay”. 

Nick Saban has it right

One strong voice, one  leader, one unifying message. We haven’t had it. 

The bigger concern to me is the lasting impact of mental health on our kids. I don’t know about you, but in my circles, kids are hurting and it’s not something that’s going to be solved by a pass or a spike.  What will things look like for them a year(or 5)from now?

I don’t have an opinion on tomorrow’s meeting, What’s done is done. There should be no celebration…