”There are lies, damn lies, and health metrics.”

( — What Benjamin Disraeli might say if he were around today. Assuming he was the one who said it in the first place. Which many believe he wasn’t. But just because it can’t be found in any of his writings doesn’t mean he didn’t say it out loud one day, and someone else heard and later repeated it ...)

There will be no Turkey Bowl this year.

Many of you likely don’t care, unless you’re an alumnus of Calvert Hall or Loyola. My concern is only a matter of history – I hate to see a streak that started in 1920 come to an end.

On the plus side, if my math is correct (not always a safe assumption), if the first game in the streak was in 1920, then last year’s Turkey Bowl game would have been the 100th consecutive game. I wasn’t paying attention.

The Maryland Independent Athletic Association (MIAA, the private and parochial schools, have been playing football on independent schedules this fall.

Like the NCAA football conferences that went ahead with football this fall, games have been postponed or cancelled on a moment’s notice if the health metrics — mainly positive tests for coronavirus — don’t look good.

Thus is a tradition abandoned because some numbers were higher than thought safe: too many new positive tests over too short a time.

The series between Loyola and Calvert Hall will resume next year, of course (or in 2022, depending on how long it takes to satisfactorily resolve this mess). But it will no longer have that “consecutive years played” aura to it.

Same with the annual City-Poly game, which traditionally was also played on Thanksgiving Day until the city public schools joined the MPSSAA in the mid-1990’s and suddenly Thanksgiving Day fell weeks after the end of the regular season and smack dab in the middle of the MPSSAA playoffs.

But they still played the game every year — 131 straight years until it was ended this year.

(Just a point of contrast: Baltimore County didn’t have high school football until the mid-sixties.)

(Someone once told me Patapsco won the Baltimore County championship in only its fifth year of playing football. True, but every county public school was in its fifth year of playing football.)

As I’ve written before, I certainly don’t want to be putting sports before the health of students.

And I’ve always been one to blame incompetence rather than malice when it comes to government shenanigans.

(Unless it’s aliens influencing our government. That, I’m more likely to believe.)

But we’re presented with numbers about cases and positive tests and confirmed deaths and expected to just believe it’s all accurate.

And the whole pandemic has become so politicized, it’s even more difficult to accept the numbers unquestioningly.

Particularly when we’re told to restrict our Thanksgiving celebrations, yet the “health experts” insisted last summer that the tens of thousands of people rioting, protesting and marching in hordes in the streets were, you know, immune to getting infected or spreading the virus.

So our “health metrics” are getting worse, just a few weeks after mobs of people were massing in the streets in celebration of an election victory.

Any connection there? Because, if there is, it doesn’t justify locking down Baltimore County and cancelling sports; unless it can be shown huge numbers of county residents were among those celebrating in the streets.

The Over-60 softball league played July through September, as did the Eastern Baltimore County Over-40 Baseball League.

A local 15-17 club baseball team based out of Putty Hill, and an under-15 baseball team with Legion Post 38, played for much of the summer and fall. A field hockey league for high school girls played for a few months.

Out of all that, it looks like one field hockey game was cancelled.

Being in a high-risk group for getting infected and having complications (diabetes), I take the pandemic seriously. I take precautions. One of my three sisters, a nurse in her 50’s, was infected last month and required hospitalization.

In about two weeks, she was out of the hospital and back to work.

Still keeping my fingers crossed for Dec. 7.

* * *

The moment you stop respecting the John Madden Football cover jinx, it wrecks your season.

* * *

Before the season even started, I complained to a friend about why didn’t the Ravens stop Lamar Jackson from appearing on the Madden Football 2021 cover.

He said, since it was a NFL Player’s Association thing, the team likely did not have the authority to do so.

He’s probably right.

* * *

Things to be thankful for in 2020:

Well, despite the fears of my child self, I haven’t died. Still a little bit more of a month to go, however.

My lifestyle — introverted recluse who spends most of his time playing computer games, reading, and watching movies — was a perfect fit for self-quarantining.

The brother I stay with when visiting family in Florida moved into a new home in a gated community with a pool, sauna, hot tub, clubhouse and gym. Of course, due to 2020, I haven’t been able to visit this year ...

And, hey, looks like we got ourselves a coronavirus vaccine. I have no problems with vaccines.

I do, however, have a serious, terrifying problem with needles.

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