How Are You Doing?
"Hey, how are you doing?" ... "Hey, thinking about you!"
Those are the two most popular text messages
that I've gotten a lot over the last 24-36 hours and let me say this, the number of people that have reached out to me via text, email, call, social media, etc. has been overwhelming and makes me so thankful for the relationships I have been lucky to foster and makes me so excited for what's to come when we can all get back to doing what we love.
But now, back to the original question - "how are you doing?"
The answer is, I'm not ok.
I'm numb. That's the best way that I can describe my current state - the last 24 hours I have just gone through life in what feels like a giant fog. I guess, the most frustrating part is, that as a professional communicator I am unable to successfully articulate what my feelings and emotions.
I don't just hurt for me - I hurt for all of us. Mainly, for the coaches, student-athletes who no longer have the opportunity to compete for a championship. But while I hurt for those that I consider part of my extended family, I am overcome with a feeling of gratitude and humility for the chance to tell their stories each and every night.
But there are others that I ache for as well... there are so many people that have made sports their lives and now they don't know what they're going to do. How are they going to make a living, support their families, just live life? But it's not just the people that you see on TV or hear on the radio... there are SO MANY talented women and men that work behind the scenes to put on these broadcasts, to bring you these games and now they are faced with a new reality, perhaps a new normal.
I can only speak for the people who you see in front of the camera or hear on the radio, but I just know that for ALL of us, calling games or hosting shows, it isn't just a job... we don't do it because we just love sports (even though we do!) and are good at putting a sentence together, we certainly do not do this for the money ... we do our jobs because we have a passion for our craft, we have a love of telling stories, of bringing the games to life.
If you get nothing out of this, know that we all LOVE broadcasting games and now the thing that is the escape for so many is now taken away from us. Please don't misunderstand what I am saying - this was the absolute correct move. There is no need for us to endanger ourselves even more as a society and I totally understand how difficult these conversations and situations are. But that does not erase the void that I (we) feel.
Look, the purpose of this isn't for you to feel sorry for me/us because I know how lucky I am to be able to do this job for a living and there are so many people that would give their right arm to do what I do.
Maybe I haven't done a good enough job of conveying my feelings because, honestly, I don't know what I am suppose to feel. I don't know what comes next... I'm not sure what tomorrow looks like.
Things I do know... today, March 13, I got a haircut. Tomorrow is Saturday and I have no plans... I have no plans next week, either. But I also know this: things will get better, we aren't going to be in this spot forever. Games will return (I hope soon) and life will return to normal.
That doesn't make it easier in the short term, though. So, if you know of someone who works in sports reach out to them... not just now but maybe a week from now, a month from now. Ask them if they are ok, they'll probably lie to you but we just need to know people care.
And for my broadcasting friends who might need a word of encouragement or just to talk, I am here, for whatever I can do to help. Let's support each other and use this time to get to know each other.
Stay safe, everyone!