Sports column: Sports calendar enters the calm before the storm

Published 1:00 pm Sunday, August 8, 2021

Welcome to the calm before the storm.

The windows are boarded. Gas, snacks and supplies have been purchased. The Weather Channel is on as we watch the hurricane inch closer to land, and wait for the wind and rain to pick up.

In this case, of course, the storm is the 2021 sports season. Softball and soccer have already started for the Mid-South Association of Independent Schools, and the football openers are only two weeks away on Aug. 20. Teams in the Mississippi High School Actitivies Association will play preseason games that night, and then for real the following week.

College football and NFL training camps are beginning, but we’re still a month out from meaningful football.

Our annual “Playmakers” football magazine is in the final stages of production. A huge stack of printouts is sitting on my desk waiting to be proofread, and a file on my computer awaits corrections. The final product will go to press early next week and be bundled in our weekend print editions on Aug. 20. Be sure to get a copy.

This, then, is one of the final weekends before the 2021-22 sports calendar begins in earnest. It’s time to take a deep breath before jumping into the deep end of the pool.

On some level, it almost seems cruel that we’re still deep in the gullett of summer and the cooler autumn winds are already on the horizon. For anyone involved in the sports industry, from coaches to players to media, the relaxing Friday nights and vacation days are numbered if not over for the year. It’s time to go to work.

On another level, just like jumping into a brisk swimming pool, it’s a bit invigorating. The new season brings endless possibilities. Fresh memories are always being made and life lessons learned. The harsh reality of how hard it is to be successful will become apparent eventually, but for now there is only the thought of what can be, not what has been or what actually is.

I’m certainly going to enjoy these last two free Friday nights of summer, before the full weight of the sports calendar descends upon us. But I also can’t wait to see what lays ahead.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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