The COVID-19 maps, pointless/useless? And some football picks too!


BUCKHANNON – I am kind over Governor Jim Justice’s and all the other state’s color-coded maps. All of them. Actually, all maps in general. The DOE map, the DHHR map, the daily pandemic map, the map of the flat earth and the map to granny’s house so the big bad wolf can eat her.

If I can be low brow for a second and borrow a phrase from the now Joe Biden-backing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and make it PG-rated, “Governor Justice, take your maps, shine them up real nice, turn them things sideways, and stick them where the sun don’t shine.”

The COVID-19 maps are only as strong as the governing body behind them, and well, that has pretty much made the state’s maps useless and/or pointless. You can decide which. It really isn’t a case of waffling on an issue as much as it is simply picking and choosing who gets to do what?

During this whole three-day ordeal with the Buckhannon-Upshur soccer teams, someone told me, “He is the governor, he can do what he wants.” That seems to be the case.

The soccer Bucs and Lady Bucs were seemingly pawns earlier this week in some sort of weird political map game of Gotcha.

The short version of the story is, the county went orange, so no sectional soccer games. The WVSSAC said they could play if tested, then just hours later the governor’s office said no you can’t.

And much like the eternal question of how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop (Google it kids), the world may never know…I’m not sure Buckhannon-Upshur soccer fans will ever know or get an answer from the governor’s office or the man himself as to why the WVSSAC’s offer to play was rescinded.  I know I seemingly can’t as a member of the media. Neither can boys’ head coach Mike Donato who remarked, “I don’t think we will ever get that answer unfortunately.”

So that brings me to the latest handling of the maps by the governor’s office.

Doddridge County was the lone red county on Saturday’s state COVID-19 metrics map. Red means again, a complete halt of all competitions and practices…or does it?

Now Doddridge did move to orange on the daily DHHR map this week (Again, why is there more than one map?) and petitioned Gov. Justice’s office and the WVSSAC to compete in their regional track meet today.

The WV National Guard is going to test the Doddridge County runners this morning so they can compete. Say what? How accurate are the COVID-19 rapid tests again?

This isn’t an anti-Doddridge County rant. I am beyond happy their kids will be able to compete instead of sitting at home because some arbitrary numbers and an arbitrary map with manipulated numbers told them that they can’t.

I’m just trying to figure out the system is all.

And I truly appreciate that cross-country (and golf and cheerleading) are non-contact sports, I get that, I really do.  But try telling that to a B-U soccer player who was told by the governor’s office to go home…you play a contact sport, your season is over.

To tie this back to the B-U soccer teams is the opportunity that Justice gave to athletes at the end of August in Kanawha, Fayette and Logan Counties who were all red.

This was his quote.

“If the football team tests and they are all good to go, we will play the football game. If the volleyball team tests and they are all good to go, we can play volleyball games. If the soccer team tests, we play soccer. If the band tests positive, with one of the people in the band test positive, the band can’t play. As a coach, I know how much sports means to our communities, our children and our schools.”

He went on to remark that the protocol was a one-time situation saying the state simply didn’t have the resources to move forward with it permanently.

What? Say that again Governor Justice?

You were willing to make an exception for certain counties starting their seasons back in August, but wouldn’t consider letting the two B-U soccer teams play in their sectional tournament? The state doesn’t have the resources to move forward? What does that even mean?

To me, the bottom line is this…either enforce the rules you have or don’t have them.

It’s time to get rid of the maps and let common sense prevail.

I’ve always said I am probably not going to be the sharpest guy in the room, so if there is something I am totally missing on this subject, I would love to hear from you…drop me an email at [email protected]

Since my rant went long we will have an abridged version of the Fearless Football Forecast this week.

I went a perfect 5-0 last week while my counterpart, No. 1 Auto Sales Manager Shea Phillips went 4-1.

For the season, I am now 24-9 while Shea is 20-13. I’m closing in on another title!

Now onto the contests!

Spring Valley (3-1) at Bridgeport (4-0)

Duane: Spring Valley 24-21; Shea: Spring Valley, 21-20

Preston (1-6) at University (1-2)

Duane: University 48-8; Shea: University 35-21

Fairmont Senior (4-2) at Lewis County (3-4)

Duane: Fairmont Senior, 38-7; Shea: Fairmont Senior: 45-35

Florida Atlantic (1-0) at Marshall (4-0)

Duane: Marshall, 31-14; Shea: Marshall: 48-14

West Virginia (3-1) at Texas Tech (1-3)

Duane: Texas Tech, 21-14; Shea: WVU: 35-24

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