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Andy Hodges

Why sports still matter during time when more real issues loom larger

We’ve reached a point in the current global health pandemic where watching the news is almost exhausting and talking about sports — even without games — is often a welcome break.

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We’ve reached a point in the current global health pandemic where watching the news is almost exhausting, especially delivered with political slants on both sides of the spectrum.

No, this isn’t about politics. That’s for others to cuss and discuss.

At least some of us have sports to speculate on everything from what-if’s to what-will’s in that world when competition resumes … at some point in time.

Things have fallen to the level of arguing about Arkansas bringing out the old gray-looking helmets for the football team to wear, regardless of how stupid that whole idea is. But that’s a topic for a different day.

This serious health crisis is a cause for concern. It’s also why sports — even with no games — has become an important part of just getting through it all to some folks.

It’s a distraction from the important issues of the day.

For Razorback fans, there will be no games until football practice starts, which could be as early as this summer. Not making any predictions here, but my guess is there will be a college football season and an NFL season.

Yeah, there may be a slight downturn in the quality, but the odds are no one really notice that much. As Sam Pittman told us last week “everybody is in the same boat.?

That’s the most important thing. Nobody is really getting any sort of advantage from this suspension of literally everything.

And every coach is bored silly, but they are able to deal with it because everybody’s playing on the same level right now. They are all focusing on recruiting and now that comes down to who can do the best on that … they can’t impress ’em with facilities, culture or any of that up close and personal.

According to the guys who follow the world of recruiting closely, the Hogs have been making a lot of offers during this down cycle, keeping up with the pace they’ve been on since Sam Pittman and his new staff came in.

There are even sports books that have put out lines on some key games in the college football season that some question even happening, but my guess is it will.

Here are some of the interesting numbers:

• Oklahoma over Texas by 3.5
• Alabama a 3.5-point favorite over LSU in Baton Rouge
• Alabama by 7.5 over Auburn

Arkansas hasn’t been forecast, yet.

All of this is why sports really does matter. People are still talking about it.

Everybody has an opinion, which is what normally happens anyway, but now it/s all by guess and by golly.

Nobody’s wrong. It’s their opinion, so they aren’t wrong whether we agree with them or not.

It also gives everybody a chance to step back and take a breath from the serious talk of the day, which really is far more important in the overall scope of things in the world.

Yes, sports does matter in these difficult times, even without games or even practices to argue about.

But hang in there.

This, too, shall pass.

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