EVAN REN: We can all use some good news and football can provide some of it

In a world that has seemingly gone mad, I’ll take any dose of good news that I can find — even if it’s mundane.

The stock market inched up a half point? I’ll take it. We can go back to worrying about COVID-19? I’m all-in. The buildings in Abilene are still standing? That’s a check mark in the plus column. 

So how do we get there? 

How do we reestablish normality? 

Aside from the obvious fact that we need to stop the ongoing mayhem that is plaguing our society, getting back to common things we all hold dear will set the foundation for healing. And I’m talking about the simplest of pleasures, from peaceful walks in the park, shopping in a mall, going to the movies or attending a sporting event. 

In Texas, the latter cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to football. 

I’m not kidding. 

If there is anything that Texans can rally around, regardless of their political or religious views, or socioeconomic status … it’s football. And if it arrives on schedule this fall, so will a source of common ground — desperately needed common ground. 

Believe it or not, the light at the end of the tunnel may come from of all places, the NFL, which is currently planning to begin its 2020 season on time.

Wouldn’t that be something? 

The NFL, which has wrestled with the PR problem revolving around players kneeling for the national anthem in recent years, may be in position to restore the fans and TV audience it lost during the controversy. And further, it may serve as a rallying point for the entire country. 

Think of the irony. 

A subsequent trickle down to the NCAA and high school levels is my hope, assuming that it can be done in a relatively safe mannerAnd if those dominoes do fall, the road to healing will have a fewer potholes. 

“Oh, come on, Ev. You speak about football like it’s an essential business.” 

There are Texans who would argue that it is — not only from a monetary standpoint, but in how we raise our young people. And I would add a third element: brotherhood … which is precisely what the game fosters among teammates and fans. 

Now tell me we can’t use that. 

Tell me we can’t use something to bring us together as another burning building falls to the ground. Tell me we don’t need common goals as the arrest tallies mount across the country. 

I think it’s important for us to remember that in troubling times, even the smallest of things can change the momentum toward the positive.

Hate always meets resistance, but love has leverage. It really does. 

And the sooner we can begin doing the little things together again, the sooner the pain will begin to subside.

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