Oh, the viciousness of 2020 to St. Louis sports fans — reduced to cardboard cutouts of themselves in Busch Stadium or peering in from outside of the NHL bubble to catch a few Blues games.

The idea of a football or baseball game as the uniting salve for disaster has always been a cliche of overwrought sportswriting. The myth that George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch at a Yankees game following 9/11 redeems the lies about weapons of mass destruction or the blundering that screwed thousands after Hurricane Katrina is just one example of the dumbness of the sports-as-healer theme. But it's also true that drinking a couple of beers in the crowd of a Cards game sounds pretty good. And watching the thoroughly enjoyable progression of the BattleHawks from message-board legends to a real-life exciting football team only to have it all dissolve in the early coronavirus fallout was pretty crappy.

There are plenty of reasons to mourn the sports seasons, but there has never been a better time for the head-clearing run. We've dug forgotten bikes out of storage and tuned them up with the help of a constellation of great local shops, and St. Louis' world-class parks have become our savior. We're looking forward to finding a spot in the bleachers again, but an afternoon in Forest Park is more than a consolation prize. — Doyle Murphy