It’s been nearly a month since the sports world was forced to postpone all events due to the COVID -19 pandemic.
For those who don’t remember, on March 9th a matchup between The Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was cancelled due to "undisclosed reasons." It was later discovered that center Rudy Gobert had come in contact with the virus. From that day forward all sports-related activities have been cancelled until further notice.
Players and sports media around the world have been looking for ways to bide their time until this pandemic is over. Many players have taken up the hobby of playing video games while others have spent their time working out preparing for the possibility of finishing out the season.
Everyone has been affected by the pandemic, but no one has taken a greater loss than college Athletes.
Many teams were in the midst of fighting for a spot to go to the NCAA Tournament before the cancellation of their season. Players like Sabrina Ionescu, Cassius Winston, and Udoka Azibuke dreamed of competing in the March Madness Tournament, but their season was ended on a very somber note.
According to ESPN, Ionescu felt “very saddened” about the ending to her Oregon career. "This year has been the toughest year of my life, and I wasn't expecting to have to end my senior year like this,” Ionescu stated in her Instagram post.
To make matters worse, the NCAA is giving spring athletes an extra year of eligibility but won’t do the same for winter sports. Now, these students must force themselves to stay inside and wonder what could have happened during their season.
Former gymnast, Kenya Craig, feels for the student athletes in her own way. “Although I’m not that big into sports I can sympathize with the players. I couldn’t imagine not being able to play the sport that I love.”
This virus has forced schedules to change for the foreseeable future across all major sports. Major League Baseball (MLB) has been forced to alter the start of their season leading to Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards postponed for the first time in many years.
Even during the off-season, The NFL has been affected by the pandemic. Players can’t meet face-to-face with their new teams and can barely get a physical completed. The trade between The Arizona Cardinals and The Houston Texans has hit a speed bump as physicals for RB David Johnson and WR Deandre Hopkins cannot be completed, forcing the deal to be placed on hold.
Sports Fans across the globe are feeling the effects of this new sports-less world, with many contemplating what to do with themselves. While many networks are continuing their broadcasts as scheduled by showing old games it does not fill the void of actual live competition.
Former UMBC sports reporter Zac McCord has found this to be a bizarre and confusing time. “I don’t even know what day it is any more. I look for things to do with no sports and it’s useless.” As he continued explaining how he’s coping during this time you can hear the pain in his voice. “I love sports man, and for it to be gone is a major travesty.”
Networks like ESPN have done everything they can to give fans something to watch during the quarantine as they’ve re-aired a multitude of sports, including wrestling. They even aired an all day marathon of ESPN 8, "The Ocho" which showcases extremely rare sports like cup stacking and marble racing.
They will now air their 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan and the '97-'98 Chicago Bulls April 19th as opposed to the original date of sometime in mid-July.
Professional Wrestling fans have been given a rare reprieve from the lack of sports as WrestleMania was still held last weekend but with no fans in the audience.
With all that’s going on one must wonder when things will return to normal. It’s been said the quarantine could last until the end of the summer or possibly longer. As people deal with the severity of the virus everyone must believe that this will pass eventually, and we can all go back to watching the sports that we love with the people we cherish the most.