In case you haven’t heard, the world suspended just about every sport imaginable due to the growing concern that is the coronavirus, a pandemic that currently has us on the ropes with our hands up just waiting for the round to end.
Sorry for the sports metaphor, but I just can’t help myself. I’m a football writer, and football writers happen to love sports. This is why I’m a little upset that the NBA, NHL, NCAA and MLB have all suspended operations for the foreseeable future. That’s right, there might not be an NBA champion crowned this summer, and Sidney Crosby (or any NHL player, for that matter) may not get a chance to drink Brandy out of Lord Stanley’s Cup.
As for those college basketball brackets? You might have to settle for betting on those fantasy brackets that people always come up with this time of year—you know, like “Best season of Law & Order: SVU” (there are so many seasons, you’d have to have some play-in games—because the NCAA has all but cancelled the men’s basketball tournament.
I can go down the list of things that have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus, but rest assured, if it involves a puck, bat, ball, stick, or even boxing gloves (boxers don’t wear masks), it’s not being played right now.
I get it. There are certainly bigger things than sports. Instead of points, lives are at stake.
But this doesn’t mean I can’t be sad about it. I was looking forward to filling out my bracket. For that matter, there are dozens of basketball youngsters out there—those that play for Robert Morris, Penn State and Dayton come to mind—who probably feel devastated right now because they just missed out on living out their childhood dreams.
I say, let them feel that way. Don’t give them any speeches about life being more important than sports. For that matter, I don’t need to hear any speeches about that, either.
Believe me, we all get it. We understand that part of it, and those self-righteous speeches come off as just that.
I don’t need to read any Tweets or Facebook posts about it, either. I realize the world is doing the right thing by reacting so seriously to a virus we simply don’t know a whole heckuva lot about at the moment. But telling us not to be bummed about the loss of sports is like that person that says, “You woke up this morning, didn’t ya?” whenever you open up to him or her about one of life’s problems. You want to say, “Duh, obviously I woke up this morning. Otherwise, I wouldn’t care about the price of four new tires for my car.”
If you’re a Steelers fan, and only a Steelers fan, maybe you don’t care all that much about the loss of sports right now. But just because it’s March doesn’t mean we still won’t be dealing with this in July. And if we’re dealing with this in July, you know what that will probably mean? No training camp. If there’s no training camp—even one that will likely consist of 16 padded practices—that will probably mean no regular season—at least not right away.
And it wouldn’t take much for a delay to the 2020 NFL regular season to turn into a full-fledged cancellation of the 2020 NFL regular season.
Again, there are more important things than sports, but wouldn’t the loss of an entire Steelers regular season just suck? And wouldn’t that all but close the window for a championship under the guidance of Ben Roethlisberger?
Rhetorical questions, because, yes and most likely yes.
I know you value sports. I know you value the Steelers. Someone who visits sites such as Behind the Steel Curtain on a daily basis is passionate about sports. It is obviously a huge part of your life, as it is mine.
The Steelers might not be life or death. Sports might not be life for death.
But, man, they sure are important.
If they weren’t so important to us, we wouldn’t have to be reminded about putting things into perspective at times like these.
Sports are gone, and it’s okay to be sad about that.