Sports Fans–Unchartered Waters”
This is such a different time for sports fans.
This is such a scary time in society.
The US is paralyzed by Covid-19, the Chinese imported coronavirus.
The fallout, the infections, the deaths, have brought the sports world to its knees, to a halt.
We’ve had games stopped before. Our society was rocked by 9-11. The aftershocks led to the cancellation of games in baseball, the NFL, college football and more.
Baseball seasons have been impeded by work stoppages and disputes with the owners and unions.
The NFL had a bitter work stoppage in 1987 for a three week window.
The ugliest of all was the NHL cancelling an entire hockey season in a war over a new deal involving free agency and demands from its union.
But this is a first, an epidemic, a sickness, a non-controllable virus, that has felled sports.
In our lifetime, this has the potential to be as deadly as the first plague of our modern life, the Influenza outbreak o 1918 at the end of World War I. It killed hundreds of thousands around the globe. There was no medicine to stop it.
Modern day trauma says the polio outbreak in the mid 1950’s, the one that attacked children around the US, was scary till the Salk vaccine saved society..
We have lived thru Ebola, Legionnaires Disease, the SARS infections and more.
But this outbreak is scary, for much like the early 1900s, there is no game-plan yet how to create a vaccine to fight it.
So the NBA season ceases when the first two players from the Utah Jazz test positive. An NBA ref has now been identified as a third victim.
March Madness was finally cancelled a day after they said they’d play games behind locked doors in arenas.
Baseball shutdown before someone got infected, putting all in jeopardy Hockey red-flagged the majors leagues, the minor leagues and all of junior hockey.
MLS soccer followed suit, then college’s shutdown all their spring sports, and padlocked their winter sports championships.
Odd, that the PGA is playing this weekend at the TPC tourney at Sawgrass, but with no fans, while the LPGA cancelled its next 3-tourneys. Tennis won’t play for an indefinite period.
Auto racing will run in Atlanta this weekend but with no fans in the stands. The same for Indy car racing starting its season with the St Petersburg Grand Prix. The Formula 1-season runs the Australian Grand Prix, without fans. The NHRA cancelled this weekends drag racing schedule.
The NFL will conduct its business starting Monday, not face-to-face, but by Skype. That will be followed by free agency, and possibly still the NFL draft. The upstart XFL ceased operation after just 5-weeks of play.
No games, no trades, no storylines for possibly 30-days, maybe as long as 2-months. It will be a different weekend ahead of us, because now it is a very different life in front of us.
Self-isolation may be the only way to beat down this virus. Not having games to watch will feel weird. Not feeling comfortable going out in large crowds will be different too.
We won’t be following roster cuts or free agency or basketball-baseball games. We will instead be following reports of “break the chain-the spreading of the disease.’ That becomes the most important thing we will pay attention too starting this weekend.
We’ve cancelled everything in our sporting life, because that may be the only way to roadblock the damage happening to our lives. Once that is done, maybe the games begin.
Disneyland is closing. Broadway has gone dark. Colleges are sending students home. The norm is now gone.
But for now, America has shutdown.
But it will be very different going forward, a new norm in our life.