Joe Aguilar: As sports fans, we know what 6 feet apart looks like

  • Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford stretches post to post -- 6 feet -- to make a save.

    Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford stretches post to post -- 6 feet -- to make a save. DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTO

Updated 4/9/2020 5:59 PM

If we're going to be good citizens and obey the 6-feet rule of social distancing, we need perspective. We need to be able to calculate space in our head and do it quickly before the speed walker approaches and invades our required personal space, requiring you to deftly zig and zag.

Fortunately, we're sports fans.


We get it. We can visualize distance. Every basketball player knows what 15 feet looks like. It's a free throw. Every baseball fan can walk off 60 feet, 6 inches. If you're playing golf, you don't need a red marker in the fairway to tell you you're 100 yards to the middle of the green. You've seen enough football fields.

And, yes, we know what 6 feet (or 72 inches) looks like, too. And, no, in order to keep our distance, we don't have to tote around a replica hockey stick of 6-foot-9 Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, who uses a 67-inch (5 feet, 7 inches) twig to ward off skilled forwards and slap a puck 100 mph.

To be clear, 6 feet is not the length of a QB sneak. That's 3 feet, or 1 yard.

Six feet is the length Walter Payton soared over defenders on the goal line.

Six feet is the hole a Pro Bowl-laden offensive line creates for its running back.

Six feet is all day to throw in the pocket, until Khalil Mack whips the offensive tackle.

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Six feet is Javy Baez's height.

Six feet is the length of one of Baez's smooth slides.

Six feet is Tarik Cohen's height with his hand stretched high. "Hey, Mitch. I'm open."

Six feet is what separates power hitters from guys with warning-track power.

Six feet is the width of a hockey net, goal post to goal post.

Six feet is, roughly, a floater in the middle of the lane.

Six feet is the strike zone, helmet to spikes, when it's getting late and cold and the umpire wants to go home.

Six feet is a gimme putt when your buddy won't break 100 and is looking at his fourth putt. And it's getting late. And cold.

Six feet is the difference between splashing your approach into the pond and hitting the shot of your life.

Six feet is a blowout in a sprint, on a track or in a pool.


Six feet is how high state-caliber high jumpers leap.

Six feet is how tall a petite gymnast feels when she sticks her difficult dismount.

So see, aren't you glad you love sports? We know 6 feet. No tape measure or Chara stick required. So be a good person and keep your distance. And if you don't trust the 6-feet rule, go overly cautious and keep your distance at a free throw's length.

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