Exactly one month ago, the sports landscape was a completely different atmosphere. NBA and NHL fans were selling out games each and everyday, baseball was just about to be in full swing, and the annual March Madness Tournament was right around the corner. It was set to truly be the best month for the sports world.
Then right before tipoff of a regular season game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz, everything would change. Shortly after the game was called, All-Star center Rudy Gobert tested positive for Covid-19, which would suspend the NBA season with the NHL, MLB, and NCAA to follow shortly after.
“Honestly, I was in complete shock due to the fact that in our lifetime we never experienced anything like this that would completely shut all sports down,” College of Staten Island Junior Justin Carosella said. Justin was already not having a great start to his semester after seeing his favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers lose the Superbowl in horrific fashion. “Now with everything shut down, the only thing to keep me occupied is honestly my schoolwork.”
Some people have been turning to productive hobbies to benefit from this lockdown, but others are relying on the power of nostalgia to hopefully fill the gaps in the meantime.
“To pass the time I’m watching full length basketball games from the 80’s and 90’s,” says Oswego State Sophomore Melanie Romero. A basketball fan her whole life, she wants to take the time to appreciate the game and understand how basketball has evolved from the past all the way to the present. Also being a Dallas native and a lifetime Maverick fan, she wouldn’t mind rewatching Dirk Nowitiski take down the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals to pass the time as well.
Like Melanie, many sports fans across the globe are relying on watching older games to help hold them over until this lockdown is eventually over. On top of trying to find any other games to watch, there has been a halt on sports news and media across all platforms. Sports fans are trying to dig for any new information.
We could thank the NFL for providing some type of entertainment through these struggling times.
“If the NFL didn’t have free agency or have the draft coming up in a few weeks, I don’t know how I would handle just having nothing to read about,” says Oswego State Junior Patrick Ochang. “I’ve been playing a lot more video games to pretend like sports are still here.”
As for now, many of us will have to get used to seeing the sports world on a virtual platform. Nascar has just started to perform virtual races and the NFL will have 58 NFL prospects attend the draft using their cell phones and internet to communicate. It certainly is different, but a responsible and necessary decision to ensure the safety of everyone during this global pandemic we currently live in.
While we all are working from home and still trying to get used to our new surroundings, it is important to take this time to try to be as productive as possible and connect with our loved ones.
No matter what, sports will be back. In no time we will all have an opportunity to fall back in love with an activity that truly unites the world.