It takes a lot to make me cry.

My wife, kind of jokingly and kind of not, likes to refer to me as a robot. Someone once described my personality as just south of comatose. That might be a little harsh, but you get the idea.

One time I was talking to my daughter and joking around about a high school basketball coach (who shall remain nameless) for being so incredibly stoic and emotionless on the sidelines.


My daughter, who used to be a student in his class, laughed and said, “He’s just like you!”

I was incredulous until I thought about it for a while and realized she was probably right.

In light of everything that’s going on I’m becoming less robotic and emotionless.

Earlier this week I was interviewing a family that was watching the Munford Elementary parade during which school staff members drove around town to wave at students. I got choked up and nearly started crying while trying to ask a simple question.

I’ve interviewed hundreds of people while writing stories about people dying and never even thought about crying.

When weeping players, and sometimes coaches, talk to me after season-ending losses, I think of a 1975 song called “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” when the Elvin Bishop sings, “Their tears left me cold as a stone.”

That might be a bit of a stretch, but I can’t resist working in cheesy ‘70s songs into a column. Plus, I just heard that song on Pandora.

Anyway, you get the point.

Coronavirus and the havoc it has caused is taking an emotional toll on everybody.

If it makes this kind of impact on a robotic newspaper reporter, I can only imagine how it is affecting people who feel things in a normal way.

I don’t have any words of wisdom. At this point it feels like everything that needs to be said has been said.

I’m just trying to hug my wife and kids a little more, dream about a normal world that will return one day and try not to cry during interviews.

Jeff Ireland
Author: Jeff Ireland