One week ago, playing sports games without fans present to prevent the spread of COVID-19 seemed like a distant possibility.
Only seven days later, that perspective seems naïve at best.
As of right now, every major sport in America has been cancelled or put on hold.
MLB. NHL. NBA. NCAA, men and women, all sports.
The sports world, which normally marches on through almost everything, has come to a grinding halt.
Just think about it. There will be no Final Four. Possibly no Stanley Cup or NBA Finals.
We are in unprecedented times, to say the least. For seemingly everyone alive right now, we have never experienced anything like this.
It almost feels like A Year With No Sports.
What hurts perhaps the most is that so many athletes will not get to finish their particular careers in the way that they wanted.
Godspeed to you, Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard. Go onward, hundreds or thousands of senior NCAA athletes.
For as long as we live, all of us, including our children, will remember this year as the year that our lives changed.
Whatever happens, people are starting to wake up to the seriousness of our collective situation. It’s absolutely irresponsible to expect athletes to gather in arenas for our entertainment, even without fans.
How many people does it take to play a professional game? Players, coaches, staff, officials. It would seem to be darn close to the 250 person threshold that the CDC now advises we should all avoid.
We know so little about how widely the coronavirus will spread, to say nothing of how far it has already spread, that we should be adopting a worst-case scenario stance. It would be easier to become more lax later as conditions improve than the reverse would.
Right now we are experiencing a reality that transcends sports, that most physical of event categories.
Athletes and fans are on the front lines of the existence that will affect us in every area of our lives.
Let’s focus on getting past this incredible situation. Then, when the time comes, let’s return to sports and our daily lives. Let’s not selfishly complain that we are missing out on our favorite form of entertainment.
Stay safe, friends.