Over the years, I started making my own tradition with regard to the All-Texomaland sports banquet, hosted by the Herald Democrat and Texoma Marketing and Media Group. However, some times traditions need to change, and 2020 is certainly one of those times.


I have shaken hands with Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and Jason Witten, among others.


In recent years, this has given me the opportunity to meet certain athletes who are at the peak of their sport but that isn’t what brings me out each year. In truth, it is more about the reactions they get.


That said, there is something special and magical about the look on fans’ faces when they get to meet these larger than life figures in person. It is easy to get swept up in it all, and it always makes for great photos.


With the changes to this year’s awards, and our need to do our part to stop the spread of the pandemic, I am choosing to look on the bright side of all of this.


This year’s presentation, which will be streamed online, will feature a wider variety of athletes, Drew Brees, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Phelps, Venus Williams and more than a dozen others.


I believe there is something to be gained from being able to hear from someone in your own field, and that includes the playing field. Who knows how being able to hear from someone in your own sport can affect you.


With that in mind, I don’t mind if my traditions have to change a bit.


Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.