What the world has been missing

Hank Shapiro and Alex Weinberg

The world has been turned upside down with COVID-19 canceling school, closing businesses and quarantining people in their homes. In times of uncertainty in the past, the country has usually turned to a common pastime: sports.

All of that changed starting on March 10, when the Ivy League canceled their conference tournament over Coronavirus fears.  

The next day, the NBA announced that the Golden State Warriors would play the Brooklyn Nets without fans in the arena. That same day, the NCAA said that their annual March Madness tournament would be held without fans for the same reason.  Continuing on that day, the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks announced that they would play home games without fans indefinitely. Finally, later that night, the NBA game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed under mysterious circumstances.  About an hour later, it was confirmed that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the Coronavirus. 

Photo by Barstoolsports
Life without sports

From that moment, the NBA suspended its season and promised to reevaluate after 30 days. Not only was the NBA in jeopardy, but all sports would be suspended or canceled one by one over the coming hours and days.

The most prevalent cancellation was the conference basketball tournaments during the school day on March 12. The college basketball season seemed to be over and the cancellation of March Madness that night left sports fans across the country in shock. 

  Now, with the NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA Tour, and NCAA’s March Madness all postponed or canceled, sports fans are left with emptiness. No games, no rivalries, no SportsCenter Top 10 moments…where does the sports world go from here? 

Well, if sports physically can’t move forward, now is a good opportunity to reflect on the past. As it turns out, major sports networks have all been re-playing classic games. For example, CBS is re-airing March Madness national championship games, NBC is re-airing Stanley Cup Game Sevens, MLB Network is doing the same with iconic World Series games, and NBA TV is re-airing classics from the playoffs and NBA Finals. 

In addition to classic games, networks are airing a lot more of their feature programming, such as talk shows and sports documentaries. Social media platforms have also been showing the best highlights in the history of sports to keep sports fans as happy as possible. There are even March Madness simulations using video games and probability spinners.

All of these cancellations only apply to sports that are in season right now, which happens to be a lot, as April tends to be the busiest month in sports with games critical for playoff seeds in the NBA and NHL, the Final Four, the Masters, and MLB opening day. 

However, the NFL, which is in its offseason right now, has actually continued to do business with free agency. Besides being a nice change of pace and something new to look at, the whirlwind of signings has been unbelievable to watch for sports fans.  

The most notable shakeup is that Quarterback Tom Brady left Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots after 20 years moving to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Other key moves include the New Orleans Saints re-signing QB Drew Brees for another two years, Houston Texans Wide Receiver Deandre Hopkins getting traded to the Arizona Cardinals, and Los Angeles Rams Running Back Todd Gurley joining the Atlanta Falcons.

But as NFL free agency wears off, the sports world seems to slow down again. Now all fans can do is wait, because the only hope is that this pandemic ends soon so the world can return to normalcy, and get back to sports.