I’m going to piggy-back on what our co-ordinating editor, Craig Gilbert, had to say in Wednesday’s Yellowknifer about all the wonderful things happening this coming weekend.

I can hardly wait. He wasn’t lying.

When I was out at the Yellowknife Golf Club last weekend for the second tournament of the Mediocre Golf Association, a couple of amateurs I know rather well passed by me while I was at the 18th green. We exchanged pleasantries and one of them asked me if I was there to play.

I replied in the negative and told him I was simply out taking photos of the folks coming through. I then added this:

“These people saved my ass last year and they’re going to save my ass again this year.”

I meant it. Golf, tennis, softball, Ultimate – every one of those sports saved this sports section after a long, dark winter. And it was dark.

Unless you’ve been in my chair, you will never know what it’s like to open up your e-mail box and be bombarded with nothing but COVID-19 this and pandemic that. The sports box? Maybe one or two per week with half of them being Google Alerts from Nunavut. Nothing happened over there, either, in winter 2020.

But then the summer came. The Yellowknife Golf Club announced it was opening under the published guidelines. Finally – something to write about that didn’t involve something being cancelled. Then tennis came around. Then softball, both fastpitch and slopitch, came around. Then Ultimate.

I had a sports section again. With people. With sporty things. With action-y things. Sports, sports, sports sports sports.

Now, I say all that with a bit of my tongue in my cheek but you don’t know how much you miss until you don’t have it for a while. There’s a very good way for you to make sure you enjoy what’s going on and that’s by getting out and enjoying it. You don’t have to be playing but you can certainly still support it.

If you’re around Tommy Forrest Ball Park, go on out and take in a ball game at the Yk Fastball League’s Summer Showdown tournament. There’s room for 200 people and tournaments are already popular whenever they’re held so go on out and watch some good softball. Rumour has it there may even be a beverage area of some sort and with the conditions we’re expecting this weekend, that will also be popular.

There’s also the Canadian North Midnight Classic golf tournament at the golf club. You may not be able to enter it – the deadline has passed – but you may be able to volunteer, if you can spare the time. Me? I’ll be out at 11:59 p.m. catching all the fun and frolic of the midnight flight. That’s never boring, if you catch my drift.

Last year, people couldn’t get enough outdoor sports. Just ask the Yellowknife Tennis Club. I’ve already told you in a previous column that it had to turn people away last year simply because people were looking for something to do. That’s a good problem to have.

I predict this will be a great weekend and the first of many great weekends, both long and short. We managed to make it a great summer in 2020, now let’s go make it one for the books in 2021. Blow the lid off of this city because this city needs its roof blown to crap. And I have no problem lighting the match if need be. Just ask around.

Besides, we need an excuse to have a good time and my ass depends on it.

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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