When times are tough, there’s always one thing that’s always there as a distraction. That is sports. Sports are a distraction to most, an escape from reality and whatever they are going through.
Just 10 days after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, The New York Mets had to somehow play a baseball game. The first professional sporting event in New York since the attack. With the country still grieving, these 3 hours of baseball took people’s mind off of everything and came together as one. When Mike Piazza blasted a go ahead home run in the bottom of the 8th inning, to cheers of “USA, USA, USA” as he rounded the bases everything seemed normal again, we all came together as one, as a country. This is sports, it’s more than a game. It brings cities together. It brings families together. Most of all it brings the country together.
I grew up around sports, playing and watching them. Coming home from school and flipping the channel right to SportsCenter and begging my parents to stay up late to finish watching the Dodgers game that’s in the 11th inning on a school night. Sports were a constant. Something that was always there, no matter how tough times were, you had sports.
Now, times are different the COVID-19 Pandemic has swept not only the country but the world. With the recent outbreak, all sporting events have been put on hold. When Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19 the league immediately suspended it’s season with MLB following them shortly after with suspending their spring training and start to the season. All other sports leagues would soon follow including all spring sports for the NCAA.
The empty bleachers, empty dugouts, empty stadiums is an unusual sight and something that can last for who knows how long. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has recently said he doesn’t see sports in Los Angeles until 2021 and with the pandemic continuing to get worse that may be a reality for most cities in America. Taiwan, a country that was way ahead of the pandemic, has begun playing baseball but with no fans in the stands, Could that be a possibility for sports in America? According to Dr Anthony Fauci that’s a possibility.
“If you could get on television, Major League Baseball, to start July 4th. Let’s say, nobody comes to the stadium. You just, you do it. I mean, people say, ‘Well, you can’t play without spectators.’ Well, I think you’d probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game.” Said Fauci
Is it hard going through everyday life not being able to play or watch sports? Sure it is but there are bigger things going on in this country and beating this is the number one priority. When sports return, I can’t imagine what the scene is going to look like. 50,000 people not only there for their favorite team but their for their country and all united as one. But for now we need to stay inside, social distance, stay safe, and soon fans will be enjoying the LA night sky and a Dodger Baseball game at Chavez Ravine.