Pardon Me While I Put on My Mask for Your Safety






So what I didn’t expect at the time that I posted this on social media would be the number of people who would conveniently overlook the term “summer workouts”. I wrongly assumed that they would read, consume, think, about the entire tweet.

I was wrong.

I was also wrong by not explaining to those who simply don’t know (or don’t want to know) that summer workouts end next week. With COVID numbers blowing up in Maricopa County and positive tests from high school athletes, that have made the news, sitting at two (Millennium and Brophy Prep). To think that there’s not others participating in workouts Monday-Thursday who are walking around with the virus would be naive.

I’ve had a couple of texts from parents saying there’s an athlete over at school X that tested positive, it just hasn’t come out yet. Much like the COVID-19 brushfire we’ve seen in football programs this week – go look up Clemson  (23 players tested positive), LSU, Alabama, Iowa St, Florida St. and several others have reported having COVID problems as well.

For those of you who are in the “Well, they are too young to get this”, or the “You’re not going to tell my kid to wear a mask to school”, I’m glad you’re looking out for yourself versus others . It’s all about you. Congrats. I mask up in public to protect you from me. That’s not being selfish, that’s being considerate of you. Now that Maricopa County has mandated masks to be worn indoors, how will weight room workouts with high school football teams go? There’s no need to find out. 

More important than  high school football is getting back into an actual classroom for students by late July. We’re a month away from the 20-21 school calendar starting for many. Go back to the beginning of this month when  it looked like the curve was starting to flatten out, but now the number of cases is rolling in at an alarming rate. Having athletes in the classroom in some fashion(some districts are looking at just 1 day a week, yikes!!) needs to happen for those kids.

If all you are thinking about is your kid and a possible football scholarship I’ll share this with you. Three D1 assistant coaches who recruit Arizona, texted  me in the last two days . All three of them said, “crazy, just crazy”  when informed that summer workouts were still happening. Risk vs reward. What are you doing in June to try to help ensure a season in late August? 

If the programs who have had the most on-the-field success in recent years (you know who you are) step up and lead the way, with a “What are we doing here guys? What is the reward vs the risk here in the third week of June, during a pandemic with the numbers going the wrong way?”  It would show some much needed leadership in the moment and speak volumes about their program. Coaches, you lead your players. Be better than that and lead your community right now in this pandemic time.  

One last reason for my stance: the current uneven playing field within Arizona high school football. Some districts are allowing workouts, some aren’t. Some programs are following guidelines, some are pushing right up to the line in the sand. If there isn’t uniformity, then the madness should stop for now.

If you think just going about business as usual is going to get kids back to the classroom rather than online in time for late July, clearly you don’t believe or care what’s going on all around you. Here’s some breaking news: If they are in the classroom, there’s a much better shot at playing an entire season, rather than the truncated. delayed, postponed, canceled season looming in front of all of us. 

On a personal front, perhaps you don’t have aging parents like my wife and I do, so you don’t see this through my lens. Perhaps you should at least take some time to consider it. High school kids have aunts, uncles, grandparents, people with low immune systems all around. Perhaps the AIA, District ADs. or individual football coaches should just shut things off until July 6th and re-evaluate in a couple of weeks. 

Pardon me while I put my mask back on for your safety…