March 12, 2020 is a date which will live in infamy in the world of sports. League after league, one after another, cancelled. The difficult but necessary decision was made to either suspend or cancel their seasons due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Coronavirus. From professional leagues like the NBA and MLB suspending play, to the NCAA’s cancellation of March Madness and all winter and spring sports. I was a domino effect that lasted a few more days as the XFL and UFC eventually followed suit.
Even at the high school level, a decision was made as the University Interscholastic League (UIL) suspended all activities until May 4. The virus could not have struck at a worse time than it did because for SFA Athletics, every program was on the brink of success.
Both of SFA’s basketball teams were in the shadow of a NCAA Tournament berth, Lumberjack baseball began SLC play at 3-0 and Ladyjack softball stood at 16-4 on the season. Furthermore, beach volleyball began their inaugural season at 7-5, and the track and field teams were preparing for the Indoor National Championships and the outdoor season after strong performances at the SLC Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama.
I cannot describe the emotions I felt as I heard about each cancellation. It was too much for me to handle that I had to delete ESPN and Bleacher Report off my phone because it was blowing up with so many updates concerning the Coronavirus. My heart sunk the most when they announced that March Madness had been cancelled. It’s not often that both of your school’s basketball teams have a shot at a tournament berth in the same season.
I especially felt hurt for every athlete, every coach and every supporting staff member. Their hard work and dedication on and off their respective playing surface were gone at the snap of a finger. I cannot imagine the pain and confusion, especially for our senior athletes who have dedicated their hard work and sacrifice to this university. Luckily, there is hope for them as an NCAA council will vote on eligibility relief for spring athletes on March 30. For eligibility concerning winter athletes, things remain unclear as to what will happen.
Luckily for us, since the NFL isn’t in season until September, their annual free agency period has proved to be quite entertaining with so many trades, releases and acquisitions being made that we never would’ve thought imaginable. The Houston Texans traded All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson and a few draft picks. Splashing even more headlines was former New England Patriots quarterback and six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady signing a two-year $50 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Some other notable signings were Todd Gurley to the Atlanta Falcons and Melvin Gordon to the Denver Broncos. To the NFL, I personally want to thank you for allowing me and many other sporty people around the world for giving us something to argue about while we’re quarantined.
Although it seems like we’re living a nightmare out of a movie, I believe that there is hope. Somehow and someway, this horrible virus will go away soon, and we’ll all get back to our normal lives sooner rather than later. But for now, please continue social distancing, check up on your loved ones and please look after yourself by washing your hands and maintaining good personal hygiene. We got this.