I am so frustrated right now.
Some of what I am about to say might come off as short-sighted or selfish, I understand that. I want to make it fully known that I totally understand and ultimately accept the decision that the NBA has made tonight.
NBA games are officially suspended following the conclusion of tonight’s play due to the COVID 19 coronavirus outbreak. Utah Jazz Center and Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert has contracted the disease, likely a major impetus for this decision.
Clearly, some things are more important than sports.
Its only been a few months, but I think writing in this space has given me a new appreciation for how enthusiastic I am about these children’s games that are so embedded in our culture: I have watched, followed, read about them, listened to them or about them, and crafted my own thoughts and opinions with new vigor. It really hit me while I was writing my piece on Kobe Bryant’s tragic death, and really, its hitting me again today.
Starting tomorrow, there’s no NBA games to watch. There are totally supposed to be NBA games to watch, but there aren’t. LeBron isn’t coming to town on Friday. Who knows how long this will last? There might not be a Finals this year.
And now that the NBA has come to this decision they may have set a precedent. NCAA March Madness is already planning a spectator-less tournament as well. Will they cancel altogether? Will the MLB and NHL follow suit now and suspend operations? Are we all doomed to be sports-less for the foreseeable future? Am I really not going to have my games and teams to watch on the regular? And I thought my YouTube TV debacle was bad!
Clearly, some things are way more important than sports.
I had already begun to become annoyed by the pervasive media coverage about this disease. Yahoo.com is my homepage on my PC. The first 8 articles on their main page are corona-related.
Allow me to be clear, informing people is of the utmost importance. The news should absolutely be reporting and providing coverage.
Its been everywhere. Its dominated headlines. Its dominated work meetings and idle chatter around the workplace. Its dominated phone calls and conversations with friends and family. Its dominated our ability to go out in public without having to think you might catch a disease.
And now personally, its come for what is easily one of my favorite, pleasant distractions on this Earth, trying to strike a resounding blow against the cultural institution that is American professional athletics. I absolutely can’t stand it. I don’t want it to be the case. I want the show to go on!
Clearly, some things are way, way more important than sports.
I don’t know what else to say. I know its temporary. I know its the right thing to do. I know its for the benefit and safety of the players, staffs, and general public at large for this hiatus to happen. Maybe it would be better if I knew the full plan. If the MLB and NHL just made announcements one way or another on the status of their schedules. that would be great. If NBA Commissioner Adam Silver came out tonight and said the league will start back up next November, at least we would have closure. Unfortunately, diseases labeled pandemics by the World Health Organization don’t work on a schedule and coordinate with their potential victims. They don’t negotiate and they don’t collectively bargain.
Truthfully, maybe what’s so unsettling is that we have absolutely no control over any of this except for our own actions. This whole time I’ve been trying to live my life as normally as possible, not letting the news get me out of my routine. Tonight’s news is routine-changing, whether I like it or not.
Clearly, some things are more important than sports… or our routines.
Everyone out there, wash your hands often and thoroughly. Be smart about the time you spend in public. If you have a fever, don’t leave home unless you are going to a doctor. The vast majority of young people out there that contract COVID are going to be just fine, but please mine your elders, both directly or indirectly. You never know who could catch what you have simply on accident.
Simply put, be mindful of what’s to come, both for yourself and those around you. May the largest tragedy you face in this outbreak be that you can’t sit down after a good day’s work and enjoy TNT’s NBA Thursday night.
After all, some things are more important than sports.