Whether it was President Bush throwing out the opening pitch at Yankee Stadium after 9/11. David Ortiz keeping Boston Strong and reminding everybody that "This is our #*@$&!+ City", and Bruins fans belting out the Star Spangled Banner after the Marathon Bombings. North of the American boarder, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal fans sang O'Canada in unison across three cities after two separate attacks against Canadian Military personnel in two provinces. Sports have gotten us through the worst of times. Now in 2020 COVID-19 has taken away the one thing that has always given us hope.
I sat down Thursday night to do my final live show of the week on SportsCastr and it was probably one of my worst shows ever. I was not prepared, I had no real idea of what I wanted to talk about, and about halfway through I realised how irrelevant sports are right now.
I wasn't prepared for yesterday's show because instead of pouring through every article written about the Patriots, I was reading article after article about COVID-19, and trying to figure out if my slight chest congestion and runny nose was the onset of a common cold or coronavirus (I'm not in isolation yet). I also cancelled my hotel booking for my family vacation right before I went on the air, and that one stung a lot. That's where we are now as a society.
Our world is different than it was a week ago. Wednesday night the NBA suspended its season. The NHL and MLB followed suit on Thursday. The NCAA cancelled the March Madness tournament, and the XFL cancelled the rest of their first season. By Thursday night, what was left to talk about?
The world has always been a scary, stressful, complicated place. Sports was the escape, sports was easy. For three or four hours we sit ourselves in front of the TV, we cheer our favorite teams and players. We boo our rivals, and do what we can to discredit the players we "hate". When we have the time we'll jump on Twitter and trash talk opposing fan bases, and so went the world. Somebody scores, somebody wins, somebody loses. Today it feels like we all lost.
Yesterday, today, and probably tomorrow, I couldn't care less about sports, mainly because right now they don't exist. The real world and an incurable viral infection with no preventative vaccine has taken over the world and stopped the one outlet that always seemed bigger than everything else.
You can't blame the league's for wanting to protect their players and the fans, but that doesn't mean it doesn't sting. Canadians sitting nervously at home won't be able to escape in the world of Hockey Night in Canada, a tradition that goes way beyond my years.
Basketball has quickly grown as America's new favorite pastime, and that has been taken away.
As a writer and a broadcaster for Tecmo Hole and SportsCastr, I have a responsibility to you, to bring you the most updated news, and distract you from what's going on in the world. This isn't a terrorist attack, this isn't an event that's going to bring people and nations together. As the virus keeps progressing it's going to cause more social distancing. COVID-19 is spreading fear, panic, and isolating people from each other. This is normally when sports bring us together, but not now.
We have to face this pandemic alone, at least until things start to get back to normal, and nobody knows when that's going to happen.
Until then, stay safe, and I promise I will do everything I can to distract you, even for just a minute.