Connor Van Hulzen — Staff Writer
COVID-19 is a very serious issue. As of the writing of this article, there are over 140,000 confirmed cases in America and over 2,400 deaths. I understand why all sports leagues would rush to shutter the windows, but the decision to do so is still disappointing to me personally.
March and April are very important times in the sporting world. The MLB starts their season. The NHL playoffs begin. The NBA playoffs begin. The NFL holds its combine and draft. For all sports to stop when they were just about to get going or reach the culmination of their seasons is extremely unfortunate.
Due to the lack of live sports, television companies have been scrambling to at least put some content out there. Rebroadcasting old championship or playoff games has been common. This has helped fill some of the hole left by the lack of sports being played – but it hasn’t been entirely effective. There is no way to replace MLB opening day. There is no way to replace the Stanley Cup or the NBA Finals.
The part of the lack of sports that is even more disappointing is that there is no sustainable replacement anywhere. In the days shortly after all American leagues were suspended, there were actually still sports being played elsewhere in the world, just without crowds. At midnight one night, I watch an Australian League Football game. I had no idea what was going on. I knew none of the sport’s rules. I just knew that live sports were on my television. To be able to watch any sport was a legitimate morale boost.
After all the quarantines are over and everybody is ready to return to everyday life, I personally believe that sports will lead the way and help restore everything to the way it was beforehand. After other tragic events, such as 9/11 or the Boston Marathon Bombing (which, I will admit are very different scenarios from the one we are currently in), sports were essential to the post-tragedy recovery.
In the meantime, sports fans are only left to dream of smelling the hot dogs and freshly mown grass of Opening Day and of the heart-stopping drama of the NBA and NHL playoffs. There is no substitute for the experience of live sports and the thrill of watching entire cities, states, and countries come together to support their team. We can only hope that the day comes soon where we will see our favorite teams resume play.