Point of View: Only So Many Puzzles

It’s getting so there’s not all that much to write about, which makes me anxious

They say that half of life (maybe more than half) is showing up. Well, I have been showing up, but the teams I’ve expected to cover have not.

On a recent Saturday, I went to what I thought would be a rugby game at Herrick Park only to find the field empty, not even lined. “What’s become of the rugby club?” I said later in a message left with my usual source’s machine. No answer. Perhaps he’s away. 

It was the second time this season I’ve gone to Herrick expecting to see a game only to find no one there. 

It’s getting so there’s not all that much to write about, which makes me anxious. First, it was men’s soccer. (No, actually, first it was the men’s slow-pitch softball league, which several years ago stopped playing games at the Terry King ball field in Amagansett.) Then, this past summer, it was men’s soccer. East Hampton had one of the top teams in the Island’s premier division, but players weren’t showing up for away games, and thus John Romero said that was it. He held out the possibility that he might enter a team in the Calverton league, but apparently has not.

Then, thinking I’d jump on the over-30 men’s bandwagon, I drove one recent Sunday to Manorville to cover a Suffolk Cup game at the Dayton Avenue Elementary School there, only to learn on my return home after having seen no familiar faces that the field had been switched at the last moment. 

That one was on me. I should have had a cellphone. About twice a year — three at the most — I can think of a reason to own one.

And now rugby. I’ve always liked it that there were adult teams here to cover, not just high school teams, but they seem to be vanishing, along with high school football, which, even under the best of circumstances, apparently won’t reappear here for three or four years.

Chris Pfund thinks it’s owing to children no longer riding bikes. Their parents drive them to and from school, obesity is on the rise, and, for various reasons, they’re not playing sports with the verve that we used to.

I told him I saw all kinds of cyclists, in their 40s and 50s, riding in bright-colored ribbon-like pelotons along the roads here, at least on the weekends, but it was true, I said, that I hadn’t seen kids riding in any numbers, even in our tranquil neighborhood.

I rode a bike in the city, from the East Village to The New York Times, in the mid-1960s, and for the better part of my first 10 years here commuted on one, in all kinds of weather, though I agree that the traffic and the heedlessness of driv­ers eventually rendered me cautious.

Which leads me to wonder: Have we become too cautious, too spoiled, in fact, when it comes to leading active lives?

That’s not good for weekly sportswriters. There are only so many crossword puzzles I can do.