Watching our local community react to the global pandemic that is COVID-19 has been difficult to say the least. The concern for our own personal health, coupled with the financial uncertainty, is indeed overwhelming to all. As a self-confessed sports junkie, reality set in pretty quickly recently with the rightful cancellation of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, along with the suspension of the NBA regular season. Since then, my beloved IndyCar threw in the towel for the first four races on the calendar, and the Indianapolis 500 will more than likely be postponed to a later date. Throngs of people immediately lost jobs that are derived from the sports industry and now like many Americans face fiscal difficulties.
Sports television networks are suddenly without content, and the sports junkies like yours truly across the country are no longer able to get their fix 24/7. Now, that minor inconvenience totally pales in comparison to the aforementioned impacted workers and, for that matter, everyone who is being brutally impacted by this terrible health crisis. It does, however, offer the opportunity to evaluate what is important and what we can truly live without. Schools are closing, and with hospitals set to be even more under siege, many Americans are wondering if they’ll still be able to eat regularly and have access to a doctor if they become sick and need care.
That puts sports in the insignificant category, along with a number of other guilty pleasures we currently take for granted and enjoy.
Clearly, the eradication of a global pandemic situation is far more important than a sporting event, and while overzealous professional league commissioners are saying the games will hopefully resume soon, they really do not have any concrete knowledge as when that may occur. I guess my point today is that aside from those who maintain a living from sports, it really doesn’t matter if you turn on ESPN and see your favorite sports content. Sure it’s disappointing, but with so much going on in terms of life-changing circumstances, it really doesn’t matter when the first pitch is thrown or if one single touchdown is ever scored. Take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and then you’ll be ready (and healthy) to someday attend a game and yell at a referee. Think about the individuals working tirelessly in the health care profession, and those supporting the food supply chain in your local grocery store. They’ve never scored 50 points in a game, but they are now rightfully your true heroes.
Quite often my musings are fodder for debate amongst sport fans, but I hope you will agree this isn’t one of those times. Take the precautions you need to remain healthy. Be smart and protect yourself and the ones you love. Extend a hand to someone less fortunate and those isolated. We’ll get through this, sports fans, and I need you around to tell me what I’m wrong about in terms of what I scribble down and share with you. Be smart, stay safe, and remember to look for me, either on the sidelines or in the cheap seats. In due time, I’ll meet you there. Let’s just make sure the coast is clear before we do.
Danny Bridges, who encourages everyone to take this pandemic seriously and not worry about the lack of box scores, can be reached at 317-370-8447 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.