It’s been more than 4 weeks since the world of sports was completely frozen due to the spread of CoViD-19. The biggest standstill in sports drags on with no formidable solution in the near future. With scientists and experts predicting a year-long quarantine, that leaves people in sports with more questions than answers. Will I get to watch my favorite team again? Do I get to don my home jersey one more time? As local sports reporter, what do I report on? Individuals are left in limbo as they are left struggling how to cope without sports in their life.
For many in the world of sports, this impacted them directly. David Peet, a pitcher for a small Division 2 college in Connecticut, wonders if he’ll be able to play on his home field ever again “I remember last year’s season ended in a semi-final loss to our rivals at home. It hurt then, but it hurts even more knowing that could’ve been it.” The NCAA has concluded that spring sport athletes will receive another year of eligibility. But this doesn’t solve many of the athlete’s problems. Peet is looking to enter the MLB draft but with a cancelled senior season, his decision is more difficult than ever “The decision pits me against doing what’s best for my athletic career while also making sure my academics aren’t greatly diminished by what I decide. I want to make sure everything feels right before I make a final decision, and this obstacle has made this situation a whirlwind.” Peet says he has found a ‘quarantine routine’ that helps him stay active and focused on the bigger picture “I have been spending most of my days in our home gym in the basement. Working out acts as an escape for me while I can also train myself to be the best. My goal is to stay in pristine shape so my body is ready for whatever decision I make”. Athletes across the world have been faced with a plethora of emotions throughout the past few weeks. . Many senior athletes saw their final season stolen right from under their nose and the grieving process will be an ongoing one.
For the everyday sports fan like you and I, this has been on tough on us too. A daily routine of finishing all of your responsibilities so you had ample time to flood yourself with sports content has now been drastically interrupted. Now what do we do? ESPN, Bleacher Report, and Barstool can only post so many memorable throwback games and highlights without it becoming buzzkill. Sam Shattuck, an avid sports fan who claims to watch over 10 sports religiously, says he’s passing the time by dabbling in new aspects of life “It’s funny, I actually learned there’s a alot more to life than sports. With all of my free time being stuck at home, I’ve tried my hand at learning the piano and I’ve read a book or two already”. In a time of self-quarantine where one is encouraged to stay home, there is much more time to try things you haven’t had time for in the past. Shattuck did admit that while he is getting creative with his activities, he still always makes time for sports “I’m a sports geek at heart. I always said ‘You can take the sports out of me, but not the me out of sports.’ I find myself going through old highlights, watching bad beats, and day dreaming about how the Mets could’ve blown it this year. I still get my fix.”. For sports fans, this is a hard time. We are deprived of the one thing that brings us our highest of highs and our lowest of lows. Shattuck shows us that this is a good time to get outside of your shell and try something you never would have before.
While some of us have the luxury of only worrying about quarantining and staying healthy, there are a majority who still worries about income and how they’re going to provide for their families. Individuals who are employed by entities in the world of sports have been effected anywhere from the professional level down to the youth. Jobs have been abruptly halted and the lack of production means the end product must suffer, right? Bill Speliak, a highschool Head Basketball Coach, worries about the development of his players and the program “Our program has seen waves of success in the past few years due to our work ethic and the programs we throw together for our kids in the offseason. The work we do doesn’t stop when the season is over. I worry about the kids who won’t see to the work themselves and the ones who lack motivation” With the country in a hypothetical standstill, citizens are being urged to stay in their house during this crisis. Without the proper equipment at home, athletes aren’t able to train like they’re used to. Spalik says he has done everything in his power to sail the ship smoothly “I still talk to my coaches almost everyday. Just talking basketball, talking hypothetical offenses we can run next year with the guys we have. My head is always in the game, doing the best I can to keep this operation running at full capacity. I just worry for the offseason work we planned to do”.
Unprecedented times like these has shown us a lot about the world we live in. Professional sport leagues shutting down in the blink of an eye may have been the tipping point to many who realized it’s time to take this seriously. From one sports fan to another, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Weeks without any live sports action has been brutal for not only fans, but the athletes and individuals who are employed by the sports world. As athletes and fans, we can all agree that we’ll deal with a break from sports if it means for the betterment of society.