Ryan Dever - @rydeve
Memorial Day Weekend for the past five years of my life has been the same. Not spent with family at a barbeque, or on a boat with buddies or at the beach with beer-in-hand. It’s been spent with two radios at my waist, cellphone ringing off the hook and the sound of golf balls getting sent into orbit off the tee. This year Memorial Day Weekend is different for me because for the past five years of my life it has been spent at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
When this pandemic struck, my year was just beginning. The “day job”, as I like to call it, was about to heat up with three LPGA golf tournaments scheduled in a span of five weeks.
Days were getting longer, planning and preparation was becoming intense. Before the madness of event season set in, the boys wanted to have one last hoorah before I was tied down. Bryce and Nater flew down to the Tampa area to catch a weekend packed of sports and debauchery. We had a stacked itinerary that would have been one for the ages:
A picture perfect weekend for me and a doomsday weekend for my liver – until COVID-19 hit.
The day before the Flyers game it was reported that Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was diagnosed with Coronavirus. That Wednesday night the NBA pulled teams off of the court, suspended games until further notice, and started a ripple effect (more-so earthquake) in my world that is still experiencing after shocks.
Thursday morning before the Flyers game the NHL cancelled all morning-skates and team activities, later suspended their entire season. Spring training was next, cancelled. And lastly the St. Pete Grand Prix, cancelled. The picture perfect weekend was crumbled up into a ball, lit on fire and tossed into the trash can. And it was only the start.
Golf was not safe from the shutdowns. The Players Championship, the PGA Tour’s unofficial 5th major, was the first event in my sport to go and it had a strange path to cancellation. That fateful Thursday when the NHL shutdown, the tour announced that it would host the final three rounds of The Players Championship with no spectators. Hours later, it adjusted that decision and cancelled the event entirely. In the following weeks all three of the LPGA events I help manage were either postponed or cancelled. My entire world came to a screeching halt.
It’s Memorial Day Weekend and usually the annual start of the ShopRite LPGA Classic at Seaview outside of Atlantic City, NJ. For the past five years I have not celebrated Memorial Day Weekend with family and friends. MDW has been spent on the golf course putting finishing touches on my year worth of work. This week is typically restless for me; most days start with 5am alarm and end collapsing into bed at midnight after a few pitchers of Yuengling to decompress with coworkers.
The irony is that I still find myself not celebrating Memorial Day Weekend with family and friends. And my days are still just as restless.
Biological clocks are definitely a thing. Just like birds migrating or bears hibernating at a certain time of year, my clock is set for operating this week. I’ve gone to bed after midnight every single day this month and my alarm is set for 6:30am every single day (I know, sleeping in). I’m not sure when that is going to change, but its kept some form of normalcy to my life. Instead coordinating security plans, deciding the placement of tents or designing sponsor signage, I’ve refocused my energy on other things. Free Parking for example. Working out and running a bit more. Enjoying the beautiful weather and what my new home has to offer.
Biological clocks are definitely a thing. Usually this weekend my friends are gearing up to take the boat out or fighting traffic and crowds to head to the Jersey Shore; I’m working at the golf course. While my family and extended family are firing up the grill, sharing a laugh, and playing wiffleball in the backyard; I’m working at the golf course. And ironically with the ShopRite LPGA Classic postponed, my first Memorial Day Weekend off in recent memory, I’m 1000 miles away from my family and friends in Florida. This time I’m not working on the golf course, but still working. Blogging poolside with a Starbucks cold brew in hand.
This is exactly how it is supposed to be for me on Memorial Day Weekend, I think. Everything is happening just how it is supposed to happen and I’m not going to rock the boat. Of course the year I move to Florida to launch a LPGA event is the year I have the most time to spend with the ones I love on MDW. Like usual, I’m going to spend it working. This blog and another video to edit today. I’ll hit the gym for the 5th day in a row since they reopened in Florida. And then I’m going to switch it up by enjoying some time at the pool. That’s where the pitchers of Yuengling’s come back into the story.
To the entire FPP community, enjoy your holiday weekend. Even if you won’t be spending it in your normal setting or for the first time with a mask on, spend it having fun and with the people you love. Lastly, remember what today is about. Thank you to all of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our nation and protecting the liberties we get to celebrate everyday and thank you to those continuing to serve.