By Ken DeLaat
“Football is the ballet of the masses.”-Dmitri Shostakovich
No football. From yardmarkers to milemarkers?
Wow. Just like that the fall sports scene took a hit when the Big Ten, the MAC, the GLIAC and the MIAA (oldest college conference in the country, by the way) all pulled the proverbial plug on the football season and days later the MHSAA decided a shifting of seasons was in order for high schools as well, opting for spring football.
Spring football is nothing new since it’s known to be akin to a religion in certain southern states, but it’s certainly new to the Mitten that, like 14 other states and the District of Columbia (so far), have made this seasonal adjustment. Many of these already have start dates in March and in a couple of states, February. In our state the initially announced start date is the always handy TBD.
Guidelines for Volleyball and soccer have yet to be announced but like other fall sports they are tentatively scheduled to go forward.
What does this mean for other spring sports?
This will all have to be figured out as if our schools didn’t have enough on their plate right now. Athletic Directors throughout our bi-peninsular paradise who already deal with weather related scheduling nightmares and the usual drone of issues brought to their door now have the ripple effects of COVID on sports to contend with and are likely pondering early retirement or a career change.
In the meantime a footballess fall awaits.
Like her coaching colleagues, N3 Editor and cross country coach Alexis Mercer may end up with backfield players and linemen added to the mix with her veteran runners creating a thundering herd of harriers.
Of course, the linemen might have issues with tossing the occasional cross body block during competition, but there’s confidence that most can adjust to the subtle differences between the sports.
Thus far the NFL is moving forward so while no Newaygo Lions will take the field there’s always the beloved Detroit Lions to watch. Given the history of this storied franchise and how things generally go for the team this could very well be the year they win the Super Bowl.
Think of it. There will probably be a slew of COVID related ineligible players throughout the season and if they fell at the right time might give a lesser team the advantage. Games could be cancelled or forfeited, the year could be cut short, any number of scenarios could unfold in a weird way that would elevate the perennial also rans to the big game.
One that no one can attend.
As no one attended the games during the season.
And because of the oddity and many factors surrounding the season the Super Bowl winner, regardless of what the league says, will forever have a giant asterisk next to it in the record books.
Yep. I can see this being the year of the Lions.
A rough start to their 2nd century
A fire destroyed the century old Government Lake Lodge this week.
Lil and I have sporadically made visits to this inviting lakeside eatery located just a stones throw or two north of Baldwin. The iconic building and unique location provided a pleasant diversion during drives that took us up M-37 (the way, way best route north particularly if combined with slicing to the west on 115).
Places like Gov Lake have been landmarks for travelers to and through the north forever. As a kid when my family would head to our up north cottage (yes,we had cars then) I vividly recall places like this where we would stop off for a little respite. My Dad could usually use a beer after traveling a few hours with four kids in a hot car loaded down with enough stuff to last months longer than the week we would be gone. These spots always seemed to have great burgers and fries along with orange pop and often would be home to a bowling game or pinball machine. If so, Dad would pour out the dimes, presumably to enjoy a bit of quiet to go with his beer.
Fewer and fewer of these classic roadside oases are still operating and these days instead of pinball you’ll usually find Keno. Still, each one has character and each has a bit of personal history for those who may have been well acquainted with them.
While personally unaware of the history behind GLL at the ripe old age of 101 it is certain to be a rich one indeed and we would invite anyone with a story to share with our readers about this archetypal up north tavern to send it on over to us in the comment section or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
"There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern"- Samuel Johnson
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