In 2020 a case could be made we need leadership more than ever. Matter of fact it’s plainly obvious that leadership now, more than ever is desperately being sought..kind of like a title of a really horrible sitcom from the mid-90s.
On Friday conflicting reports emerged from the WIAA, and the La Crosse County School District about the fall sports season, setting in motion another string of events, in what has been a classic cluster f*** of epic proportions. Statewide, countywide, and Nationwide. We have no unifying voice, at any level, and frankly it’s frightening, for these kids and for us *parents. *grandparents, aunts, uncles, god-parents, guardians, etc.*
While a decision from the WIAA, and or the La Crosse County School Districts, on the fate of fall sports may be small potatoes in comparison to other worldly needs, it doesn’t excuse the fact that the kids of this county, and this country, deserve some leadership. They deserve to hear from an adult, who has got the b%lls to say what needs to be said, the temerity to back up what they have to say, and the reticence not to go along just to get along. How can two La Crosse (city) schools not be able to play fall sports, while the other teams all around them (Holmen, Onalaksa, Aquinas) can? Where’s the logic in this?? Who’s got the keys to the bus here??
We are now approaching 6 months into a national pandemic, on a scale we have not seen in over a century. In looking back at the history of the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, at least we had some sort of unifying voice. There was actually less mask shaming then than there is now! Kind of makes it seem like that movie starring Luke Wilson “Idiocracy”, we are regressing at a rapid pace. We no longer trust our own reflections in the mirror!
Looking at the nation’s problems, through the microscope of local sports, has even frustrated me more. The kids who were scrapped of a spring season, are now in limbo for a whole another season. Those that had hope to play winter sports, still hope to, but who knows? At this point it’s hard to believe anything that’s being said. If we could just come up with one state consensus, on this is how it’s going to be until further notice, then things would start to fall in line and we could progress naturally.
The fact of the matter is, those in a position of power to actually say, and do something, have taken a massive vow of silence. Too afraid to upset a certain constituency, parent base, donor group, sponsorship outfit, or any other interest, has left us without any sort of plan. And friends, not to sound like some righteous preacher, but we need a plan, and it needs to come from somebody in a position to make the plan work in action.
As of this writing we’re being told, we’re #AllinWisconsin, but we don’t know what that really means do we? In one county it means one thing, in one business it means another, and God forbid we look to a state or national leader, for some advice, because they’re just going to say we don’t know…?! Call us back in two weeks…and then two weeks after that…and then we’ll tell you we still don’t know!
Since the very beginning of this pandemic, I’ve noticed one thing, we could fill a library with what we don’t know about COVID-19. I’m not a scientist, I’m not a doctor, but I can tell that the doctors and scientists had a hard time grappling with this at first. That should have told us something, it wasn’t going to be easy, or go away mysteriously, or vanish like a fart in the wind! This is a problem that requires serious consideration, serious deliberation, and a reduction of partisanship, so that we can come up with a consensus plan to get better. Imagine being in a household where mom says one thing, dad says another thing, Grandpa comes in overrides them both, and leaves the parents with their arms raised wondering what just happened… That is what we’re going through right now.
To be clear I have absolutely no answers about what to do in this situation, what the best advice is, I couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you is that what’s going on now, ain’t working. Whoever it is that can come up with the best, and most robust information about COVID, and I’m thinking it’s probably the state and federal government, needs to set some guidelines. Make them guidelines that can be implemented in states across the country (or at least state), based upon need and resources. Make them scale-able, make them understandable, and make them a consensus.
If we’ve got any hope of getting out of this thing, getting our kids back to playing sports, our colleges back to what they love to do, and help businesses understand what they’re dealing with, we’re going to be in for a long haul. Unfortunately as we’ve shown we’re not accustomed to long hauls in this country anymore, we want it now, we want it fast, and we want it when we want it! On demand.
This is my call for leadership, from anywhere, from anyone, who can build a consensus, and help usher us through this. Let’s get our kids, who are the true future of this country, back and playing. While we’re at it let’s get the bars fully open, so when the kids drive us nuts we’ve all got some place to go!