Thump, I love your work as much as Robert's!
I'm probably a pessimist by wiring, but an optimist by choice. I think choosing an optimistic outlook is required for any Illini fan hoping to retain a thread of sanity...'cause this road is rough! But that's what it means to be a sports fan, right? To live the highs and lows and try to love the journey as much as the results. Who more than Illini fans need to be able to draw pleasure from the process, since the results haven't exactly been doin' it lately?!
My point is that right now our favorite people, the Illini student athletes, are getting hit with all the same trauma as everyone else, but are ALSO being deprived of their support system AND their coping activities [assuming they chose sport as their outlet...their constructive energy release], at the same time They need us now more than ever, and you and Robert are our best connection to them, but those stories aren't [yet] being written.
Which leaves Illini Nation wasting time sniping at each other and fretting for 'Rona instead of sharing ideas and techniques for facing the unique challenges of our time. If we were discussing how we faced our toughest days, Student athletes might find some pearls of wisdom to draw upon during this time of need. Sports blogs are the perfect infrastructure for idea sharing and hashing things out in public. Let's put that power to good use by allocating some air time to discussing healthy practices for athletes and sportsfans which are meaningful to these specific times. That allows their sports community to stay together and go through this experience together even as the student athletes are unable to compete.
There's no requirement that one gives up hope for future seasons in order to meet the need at hand. We simply aren't meeting the need at hand. Doing so is not incompatible with hopefulness.