Coronavirus Also Attacks the Sporting World

This+year%27s+March+Madness+was+canceled+due+to+the+coronavirus%2C+leaving+the+entire+sports+world+in+shock+and+despair.

Photo courtesy of https://nypost.com/2020/03/11/march-madness-2020-will-be-played-without-fans-because-of-coronavirus/

This year's March Madness was canceled due to the coronavirus, leaving the entire sports world in shock and despair.

It all started on Wednesday, March 11. The NBA had just announced that the first “fanless” game would be played the following night between the Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets in San Francisco. This was a result of COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, which was quickly becoming a worldwide pandemic. 

Then, the NCAA announced that its men’s basketball March Madness tournament, arguably the most popular college sporting event in America, would be played without fans as well. As all of the fans and players were in shock about this news, but very few could have imagined what happened next. 

As the tipoff of the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder game was minutes away, at 9:27 p.m. Eastern Time, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the multi-platform sports network, reported that Rudy Gobert, Jazz center, had tested positive for the coronavirus. This caused the game in Oklahoma City to come to a halt, with the PA announcer notifying the fans of the postponement. Then, at 9:31 p.m., just minutes after the Thunder-Jazz game had been canceled, the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season “until further notice.” This “hiatus” of the NBA was originally scheduled for thirty days, but it will almost definitely be extended until the pandemic is under control.

Photo courtesy of https://www.sltrib.com/sports/jazz/2020/04/12/jazzs-rudy-gobert-refutes/
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (right), and center Rudy Gobert (left), were the first two NBA players to contract the coronavirus.

The next day, Rudy Gobert’s teammate, Donovan Mitchell, tested positive for the virus as well. Now, there are nearly twenty cases in the NBA as a whole, expanding from ESPN NBA analyst Doris Burke to New York Knicks’ owner James Dolan.

That night, after the postponement of the NBA, many other high-profile leagues and events were either suspended, postponed, or canceled. Some of those included the NBA G League, all tennis events until at least April 20, all college basketball conference tournaments and March Madness, Major League Soccer (MLS) for the rest of March and April, the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB) MLB, all golf tournaments and championships until at least April 25, the 2020 Summer Olympics, and so much more.

Although the NFL season for 2019-20 is over, the coronavirus is already causing complications for the 2020-21 season. The first

Photo courtesy of https://www.oregonlive.com/sports/2020/02/nfl-draft-2020-heres-how-to-travel-to-las-vegas-book-your-flights-and-hotels.html
The 2020 NFL Draft was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, but now it will be a virtual draft due to the coronavirus.

thing it has affected is the NFL Draft, which was supposed to take place April 23-25 on one of the coolest venues in its history:  a floating stage in Las Vegas where draft picks would have been brought to the podium by boat. However, due to the coronavirus, all public events were canceled and the draft will now be live-streamed. In addition, the annual owners’ meeting to talk about rule changes and the upcoming season was canceled and all team facilities were closed.

As far as the upcoming season goes, according to an article recently published by www.theguardian.com, the NFL has announced it will start on time with a shortened training camp. This also means the league fully expects to play its games which are scheduled in Mexico City and London. The biggest problem for teams is the shortened training camp which will cost the rookies and newly signed players valuable time to learn the playbooks and bond with teammates.

While the NFL may be impacted the least, the other three major American sports leagues – the NBA, NHL, and MLB – have postponed their seasons for the foreseeable future, leaving fans at home wondering what to do while quarantining themselves. 

“ It has been pretty boring not being able to watch sports,” said eighth grader Hannah Beam. “At least ESPN is playing reruns of old games, but it is not the same as watching my favorite teams play live.” 

“I am really depressed,” said fellow eighth grader Andrew Lappin. “There is nothing to watch. Usually, around this time, there would be baseball, March Madness, and the NBA Playoffs, but they are all canceled or postponed. To make matters worse, Tom Brady left the Patriots for the Buccaneers, leaving a devastating hole at QB for The New England Patriots. I am just praying sports will return soon, and Belichick can save the Patriots again.” 

Without games to watch, fans worldwide are left stranded without sports for entertainment at a time when such a thing would be a welcome distraction from what’s going on throughout the world.