Life is Sometimes Bigger Than Sports
Crazy times are upon us. Raise your hands if you thought you'd live in a world where events are shutting down, people are in quarantine all the while there's a bizarre debate as to whether or not it should be or really is happening.
I said it on Tuesday---we were on the precipice of events and Sports closing ranks and shutting down. Twenty four hours later, Wednesday, it happened.
Several Professional Sports leagues in Europe had already begun playing in empty stadiums with some suspending or postponing their seasons. Large gatherings here in the U.S were a little slower to react.
It began with Seattle, the State of Washington and a handful of California Counties limiting large gatherings and now, we have the NBA on hiatus and the NCAA Announcing their March Madness tournament would be played without fans. I should also add that most NCAA Conferences in the midst of their tournaments were a little slower to react, playing games on Wednesday in front of fans but announcing the rest of their tourney's would be fan free.
This, considering the general sense of near panic over the Covid-19 (a.k.a Coronavirus) outbreak was inevitable but also very slow to happen. And while the NCAA and NBA should be commended for doing something, thus far Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer along with the PGA and College Baseball have done little to nothing at the time I write this.
Scarily, I actually still see people pushing the "False Media Hype" and "Over-reaction" narrative when it comes to all of this, for reasons I don't really pretend to understand other than they are trying to rationalize or politicize something that is likely directly or indirectly going to impact each and every one of us in some way, shape or form.
I'm not going to get into that part because it is a debate/argument which no matter what you say, you can't win.
But--it sounds like for the most part--no, we all are not going to die. But consider for just a moment....the other impacts here that may not involve the little world in which you live.
One: The highly unorganized Medical Care system. Having millions of people now running to their doctor, Urgent Care or Emergency Room because they think they are infected is going to overwhelm the system. The less people who are directly in contact or impacted by the virus, the less likely that happens. It means no large gatherings--which is what Sporting Events are. Because what could be worse than 15,000 basketball fans passing along a close contact virus in a confined space??
Two: This is going to crush employees who work at stadiums and event venues. These are people who get paid hourly and not large amounts of money. They also don't get paid time off. (Yes, you'd be surprised to know we still live in a world where it is not mandatory to have paid time off).
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been the only person I've heard thus far to even mention this impact and for that I applaud him:
Don't shed a tear for the athletes and the owners, they have plenty of money and will be just fine without a paycheck or two. Surprisingly, there's already conversation/debate about NBA players and other athletes not getting paid while on hiatus, folks, there are far bigger fish to fry here.
It's only a matter of time before Baseball, Golf, NASCAR, Soccer and other sports start postponing games and events, right? Surely they'll understand the need of the many outweigh the need of the few?
Then again, the leadership needed to get everyone on the same page and pointed in the right direction hasn't exactly been overwhelming or confidence inspiring. The NBA should be applauded for being the first to take the lead, even if it was prompted by one of their players getting the virus and likely infecting a frightening amount of people he's been in contact with or around over the past few days in a variety of locations.
Or maybe it was finding out Tom Hanks and his wife Rita got infected while in Australia. Maybe seeing the rich and famous being impacted will wake people out of their slumber.
If that's what it took to slow down the indifference to the problem and make people aware "Hey, this could impact all of us in some way shape or form" then I'm ok with it.,
Let's see who makes the next move.....we're all on the clock.