These past 72 hours have been eventful to say the least. The NBA opted to suspend its season as Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz were tested positive for the COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
That was the first domino to fall.
After discussing restrictions such as not allowing fans to even attend games, other organizations like Major League Baseball, NHL and even the NCAA suspended all of their sporting events for the time being.
No March Madness.
Life without sports. It feels like a nightmare on a continuous loop. However, we need to see this with a bigger perspective. Every precaution that is being taken right now is justified. We don’t know how big of a monster this pandemic will be.
Remember — sports are suspended for the time being, not completely over.
Still, it’s easy to find yourself reflecting what might have been — especially here in Oregon.
The Oregon Ducks women’s basketball team was having a season of historic proportions. Sitting at a record of 31-2, they just hoisted the Pac-12 championship in Las Vegas after beating the Stanford Cardinal, 89-56. The Ducks were eyeing the NCAA tournament with arguably the best player of the nation.
Senior Sabrina Ionescu was wowing basketball fans all over the landscape with her style of play. Returning for her fourth year, it shocked many. She averaged over 17 points with nine assists per game. The Ducks were set to make a real threat for the national title, but as of right now we won’t know.
The Oregon men’s team was also a lock for an NCAA tournament berth.
And the Oregon State men’s team still had a chance to earn a bid had it won the Pac-12 tournament.
The Oregon State men’s baseball team, a perennial threat to make a run towards the College Baseball World Series, and three-time national champions, are off to a rough start with a 5-9 record but they still garner interest from the national spotlight due to past success. We won’t know if they can return back to Omaha, as even though it is three months away, the College Baseball World Series was canceled.
Though having quite an up and down year, the Portland Trail Blazers were knocking on the door of the NBA playoffs. Though he suffered an injury prior to All-Star break, star point guard Damian Lillard was encouraged to help lead the team into the playoffs. Now the Moda Center doors will remain locked for at the very least the next 30 days.
We can sit here and continue to go down the list of what this pandemic has ruined in the sports world but that would be counterproductive. As someone who is passionate about sports, I feel like as fans we need to remember who these athletes are first.
They are human, just like us.
These athletes are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. As we prepare to ride out how long this pandemic may be with our families, we need to understand that these athletes need to be with theirs. This virus can be spread through human contact, and stadiums can be a launching pad of a huge outbreak.
Athletes have made their opinions known to the public, saying with only three months into 2020, this definitely isn’t our year. The one person whose perspective I align most with in the sports world happened late Thursday night. It came from a twitter exchange from Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.
“It’s going to take all of us to commit to social distancing in order to turn the tide and get the virus under control,” Kerr said on Twitter. “Please explain this concept to everyone that you know.”
So as sporting events are closing, we are witnessing so many other norms are taking precautionary steps as well. It’s OK to be frustrated about what could have been, and how our daily routine is slowly being disrupted.
Keep this in mind, though — there isn’t a scouting report on this virus. We don’t have any film to go over, and we have never fought against something like this before. Let’s make the right steps and hopefully bring back our sense of normalcy.