By: Cullen McIntyre, Sports Editor
March 26 was supposed to be Opening Day in Major League Baseball (MLB), the beginning of a 162-game season of America’s pastime. Instead, every sport across the world has come to a standstill due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The NCAA Tournament March Madness would have been heading to the final four this weekend, but the ever-entertaining tournament that is known for upsets and buzzer-beaters was cancelled. Each sport in the United States has been postponed, from professional leagues to recreational leagues.
College and high school athletes would be jumping into their Spring seasons, getting outside for the first time since fall sports. Instead, they’re stuck in their homes with a season gone missing, and for some, it was their last.
The only scoreboard at the moment is COVID-19, Sports 0.
Obviously, sometimes there are things bigger than sports, even I’ll admit it. The current pandemic has thrown our world completely out of shape, and it’s hit the once perfect world of sports hard. From professional athletes testing positive for the virus to employees of teams not sure if they’ll be getting paid, this pandemic has brought unique challenges to the sports world.
But where there’s bad news, there’s also good news as well. Throughout the week players of the National Basketball Association (NBA) who tested positive for the virus were cleared after two-weeks of quarantine. Athletes have taken to social media to bring fans into their lives and to keep us all entertained.
NBA players and athletes alike have taken to the popular streaming site Twitch to play the virtual video game NBA2K 2020 to keep the season going. Professional teams have simulated games that were meant to be played in real life but were cancelled on the video game about their sport.
Many teams and sports television channels are bringing out the throwbacks, taking fans back in time to relive the great moments of the teams history. The Boston Red Sox and NESN (New England Sports Network) have been replaying the 2013 World Series run featuring historic moments like the David Ortiz grand-slam in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS). FOX recently replayed Super Bowl LI, where the New England Patriots completed the largest comeback in Super Bowl history of 28-3 to beat the Atlanta Falcons.
Where live sports are gone, there is still content. Popular sports companies such as the Ringer, ESPN and Bleacher Report are constantly pumping out content for fans living in a world they thought would never come. From their own March Madness brackets of “Greatest College Basketball Player of All-Time” to the Bill Simmons podcast where Simmons and co-host Ryen Russillo redo every NBA Draft since 1996.
Thankfully for fans of the National Football League (NFL), the league’s free agency period began recently, so regularly scheduled news of players moving teams or re-signing continued. Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots was the biggest news of free agency, as the 42-year-old quarterback broke every heart in New England and booked the next ticket to Tampa to play for the Buccaneers.
For myself, a die-hard fan of baseball, basketball, and soccer, I’ve tried the best to cope without a world of sports. Not being able to play in a weekly recreational soccer league hasn’t stopped me from staying active, and neither should you. Running or walking is a sport that may live on forever, even if it takes 35 laps around yourself to break a sweat.
For everyone, it is time to stay safe and be thoughtful to those around you. There’s a reason we can’t group in masses to watch our favorite teams battle it out, and there’s a reason to stay inside. COVID-19 might be leading on the scoreboard right now, but sports fans know the game isn’t over until it’s over, so win this one for everyone. Stay inside and stay safe.