Columbus sports broadcasters keep the vision quarantine clean during pandemic

From the WRBL Internship Assignment Desk

This story was produced as part of the WRBL 2020 Summer Intern program

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Columbus Natives Dale Williams Sr. and Darryl (D.J. Jones) keep the vision alive through the history of sports. Williams and partner Jones have kept the vision alive for the past 16 years.

Since 2004 the two have covered sports around the city, state, and region– recognizing successful athletes on and off the field using versatile networking sources such as Sportsvisions: TV, Radio, and Magazine. 

From the start of time media news survived through droughts, stock market crashes, and now a pandemic. The sudden halt to sports has not stopped them from covering sports but has been a transitional process. Early March brought the news of seasons ending around not the country but the world.  

“When I first heard a word about a worldwide virus spreading through countries and cities I was stunned. The virus sounded similar to the flu pandemic (H3N2) in 1968. H3N2 resulted in about 1 million cases in the world. Today Covid-19 has calculated over 2 million cases just in the United States; this is more impactful than anything in history .” Williams said. 

Communication is virtual but Williams’ way of receiving content has been traditional for years.

“One good aspect of meeting virtually is that you can still communicate effectively. This has been a change for me because I am a traditional person when it comes to meetings. I want face to face but one thing I have to learn is to get comfortable with the things that I am uncomfortable with.” said Williams.

Face to face interaction often helps with conversation engagement through verbal and nonverbal feedback. Social distancing eliminates nonverbal communication through body language.

 “ We are able to gain revenue through sponsors and partnership agencies. The main dealings that have changed with our agencies are the way we meet.  I focus on non-verbals with others. I can typically gauge how invested a person is by their body language. Building relationships and bonds with companies are how we are able to stay in business. The loyalty from partners allows us to deal with working during a pandemic sort of a relief, “ said Williams.  

The 5th annual Female Athlete of the year for Sportsvisions was scheduled to happen in May.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) ordered no gatherings of large meetings forcing Williams and Jones to postpone the annual luncheon. “ We decided to do an awards ceremony virtually. Although we weren’t able to meet with families of athletes and invite guest speakers. We still wanted to recognize the outstanding student-athletes in the Chattahoochee Valley,” Williams said.

Covid-19 cases continue to rise and the football season is around the corner.  The athletes are eager to get back on the field. University athletic programs have opened their doors and have resulted in several cases not just in the southeast but across the United States.

The dynasty football program of Clemson University has reported 28 COVID cases amongst their staff and players, just two weeks after reopening.

“Hearing about the number of cases from schools in the southeast from schools such as Auburn University, University of Alabama and Clemson University, has left us concerned about the players’ health, more so than the start-up of another season,” said Jones.

The company is built around sports and success around the community. The two hosts plan to recycle past footage of events and game coverage over the years for now, similar to what ESPN and SEC Network are doing. 

Dale and D.J. look to continue to make an impact around the community, walking by faith and not by sight. The best is yet to come for the future of sports and cures to kill the spread of Covid-19 worldwide. 

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