Coronavirus: Life without sports

Gaining new appreciation for sports from its absence

March 11, 2020, when the world of sports began to collapse due to the COVID-19 virus. My dad and I were on our way to Indianapolis for the Big Ten basketball tournament.

Little did we know that our trip would eventually come to a screeching halt after numerous cancellations and misfortunes due to the COVID-19 virus.

About six hours into our drive, as we were passing Chicago, I refreshed my Twitter to find out that the Big Ten Conference decided to continue the tournament but with limited fans in attendance.

The other major conferences followed with a common agreement that tournaments would be played with 250 tickets available for family and close friends.

Later that night, everything changed. Utah Jazz all-star center Rudy Gobert was pulled off the floor during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Gobert later tested positive for coronavirus.

Hours later, the NBA suspended their season and it was only a matter of time before every other professional and collegiate league would follow.

Sure enough, the next day all NCAA conference tournaments and national championships were canceled for winter sports.

On the six-hour drive home from Chicago, I refreshed my Twitter about a thousand times and every second something new was getting canceled. It was a surreal feeling, and it almost felt like a bad dream. During that 48-hour span it really changed the way I viewed the virus. Sports cancellations really hit home, and I think it made people realize the magnitude of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sports are an outlet for many people that contribute to overall higher quality of life and ultimately make someone’s day more enjoyable. Whether it’s competing, watching or reading, sports occupy a massive chunk of my day.

Realizing that void will be unfilled for an uncertain amount of time is tough to grasp at first and makes you appreciate it so much more.

At first, I was worried that there was going to be no March Madness or NBA, but I slowly realized that the COVID-19 virus was probably going to affect myself and my classmates as well.

No spring sports season, especially for seniors, is a horrible thought, but it’s an even worse reality. Not being able to end my high school career competing and making memories with my friends that I’ve been playing with for years has been the toughest part.

But I think there’s something to learn from all of this, and that is to appreciate and cherish the moments you have playing the sports you love and being around the people you love.

For many of us, we only get to play organized sports for so long, and the memories that come from those sports are some of the best. So, take advantage of the time you have and make sure you enjoy every last second of it.

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About Jake McCabe

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