What to do and what to say have never been more difficult at a sports website. We used to be so creative in terms of creating content in and around sports. The glut of “content” that developed over the past 10 years kind of ruined things in that respect, and I feel like a weightlifter who took six months off of lifting. The muscle memory just isn’t there the way it used to be. That said, I feel myself starting to flex a bit. I’m bending and stretching and ignoring all the cracking I hear as I chalk it up to getting warmed up. And why not? I’ve got nothing but time on my hands when I’m not working. So, let’s talk.
I turned 41 in February, and I legitimately feel wiser at this age. There’s this knowledge of just how little I know about certain things. Even inside the prism of sports, I’ve long since realized there are people with more history, knowledge, sources, perspective, and just… more. Ya know? Knowing my limitations has been liberating, to be honest. Even as we’re going through a time of uncertainty the likes of which I’ve never seen, I feel in control… of some things. Here’s how I’m coping.
First of all, I removed Facebook from my phone. I love Facebook more than most people. I ignore its warts and embrace it for what it has done for me. Facebook has mostly been wonderful for this website. It’s been pretty good for my business. Here’s some inside baseball except much more boring than baseball. There’s a really great Insurance Agency Owner’s Facebook group that has helped humanize the industry for me. It’s helped to virtually shrink it, and otherwise tear down walls in what used to be a hyper-competitive landscape of entrepreneurial business owners. (Adjusts pocket protector and pushes up glasses.) Say what you want about insurance agents, but we’re a group that fashions themselves as being in control of their own destiny as entrepreneurs even as we’re beholden to many business masters. The short version of this story is that I use Facebook as a mental health tool when it comes to business. Laughable, to most people, I know. Just consider that one FB group to be the equivalent of the WFNY comment section. It’s just different.
As you know, everything else on Facebook has turned into a disaster during this time. I decided to give that monster less access to me. That’s been the right decision for my mental state thus far.
Secondly, I’m conscientious about what I listen to. Every podcast in the world is talking about COVID-19, whether they have anything interesting to say about it or not. I’m very picky and choosy right now. I’ll listen to you discuss anything, but the tone had better be something that doesn’t make me sad.
The latest episode of Grumpy Old Geeks hit the notes very well in their episode called “Panic at the Costco.” (https://gog.show/ep-422-panic-at-the-costco/)
Another safe listen? Joe Rogan had the creative director of video game Doom Eternal on his pod. Hugo Martin was great because even as they went down that path a little bit, they just talked about the history of Doom and the latest installment of that video game. Doom 2 was one of my all-time most formative games as a teenager, deathmatching over a modem connection. That was a tremendous way to spent nearly 90 minutes. (http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/hugo-martin)
As for music, I chose to listen to one of my favorite bands, Mansions. I’m not telling you that you should listen to them, although I think you should give them a shot. Find those bands that feel like comfortable blankets to your ears. We know we’re going to hear more and more uncomfortable things on the news and in our personal lives, potentially, so why not offset that? Here’s a pretty sad song by Mansions because I’m weird. I like that kind of thing best in my music.
Lastly, we’re home with the kids. When we’re not throwing a football in the backyard or riding bikes around the neighborhood as weather permits, we’re trying to find things to watch as a family. For my extra-nerdy house, that means making our way through the entire six-movie series that Peter Jackson and friends put together about Middle Earth. We’re halfway through the too-much-maligned Hobbit series now, and will have plenty of time to finish off the marathon with the three Lord of the Rings films. In all, considering run times, it’s six movies, but it feels like 10. Maybe more. It doesn’t matter, though. Escaping into Middle Earth from the comfort of our own couch is a wonderful thing to do right now. Trolls and goblins are delightfully dastardly as opposed to the actual news.
Much like the rest of the country, we’re managing ways to be together without becoming overexposed and on each other’s nerves. Even as I occasionally succumb to bouts of anxiety, I’m maintaining a stoic half-smile as I tell everyone I know that this is a necessary step in order to save the summer. It’s painful right now, but hopefully, by late May or early June, we’ll start to see some positive results from the sacrifices we make today.
That’s the installment for today. I’ll try to keep these coming as a way for us to keep in contact with you, the audience of WFNY. We love you. We want the best for you. We hope you’re healthy and occasionally even happy if you can muster it. We’ll do everything we can on our end to help with that last one, for at least a few moments per day.