FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — For a brief moment, you might have thought it was just another Friday morning press conference during spring practice.
When asked what he was going to do for spring break, first-year Arkansas head football coach, Sam Pittman said he would probably make use of his pool.
“There might be a whale sighting,” he said. “It’s just me out there, nobody shoot.”
It was a moment of much needed levity in a week that can only be described as uncertain at best.
On Tuesday, the SEC became the latest conference to cancel all athletic activities for the spring semester, including spring football practice and the annual spring game, as officials try and “flatten the curve” in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Spring football is something special in the South. But it’s become particularly important in Arkansas during a stretch of time in which Razorback fans have had to constantly cling to the hope of something better next season.
The spring football season has signified hope for better days ahead. And right now it feels like it’s anyone’s guess what the next day, or even the next hour, might bring.
In the grander scheme of life as it is right now, spring football isn’t all that important. It’s not worth it to risk the health and safety of the Arkansas players and the coaching staff.
Realistically, I’d like to think that everyone knows that.
But I also know that it’s the sense of normalcy that we crave when nothing around us looks or feels normal. When we’re not sure if we’ll ever have what we consider normal again.
And, even in a small way, Sam Pittman gave back some of that on Friday.
With a small, self-deprecating joke, Pittman showed that even in the bleakest of times, it’s okay to have moment of light.
To share a laugh. To tell a joke.
That in the midst of uncertainty, it’s okay to have a minute just to breathe and feel normal once again.