I’d like to begin this entry a bit differently than I usually do on my blog, which I believe is appropriate: My name is Morgan Wolf. I’m 26 years old and I live in New York City. One of the first things I’ll tell you is that I’m a huge sports fan, but right now I can’t engage in my passion because today, March 12, 2020, is the day the sports world stopped.
Over the past few days, I’ve seen sights that are unfamiliar and downright bizarre: I’ve seen European soccer matches held in front of zero fans. That itself is not a unique occurrence, as UEFA (European soccer’s governing body) has often banned fans from a stadium as a result of racism. However, what was different about this time was that many fans were still at the arena. But outside.
For instance, PSG managed to save themselves against Borussia Dortmund in front of an empty Parc des Princes in Paris. The game itself was terrific: full of action, and even a fight at the end! But it was done without the atmosphere of fans within the stadium. This made for a quite eerie viewing experience, though I must say that the absence of fans was interesting since I could hear the players’ discussions on the field through the broadcast. After PSG won 3-2 and secured passage to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, the team decided against returning to their locker room. Instead, they went out onto the concourse on the outside of the Parc des Princes and celebrated along with their loyal fans. Even for someone like me who doesn’t particularly like PSG (I disagree with team president Nasser al-Khelaifi’s ability to spend unlimited amounts of money and never see punishment), the moment was pretty cool.
But that happiness in the sports world was short-lived. Last night, after Donald Trump addressed the United States with a speech that will go down in infamy (this isn’t a political blog, so we won’t get into that), the stock market continued plummeting and the NBA suspended their season. This happened following the news that Rudy Gobert, All-Star center from the Utah Jazz, tested positive for coronavirus. I’ll get into the whole storyline involving Gobert in another post, but not here.
From this, the individual dominos began to fall: the Utah-OKC game was cancelled, both teams were quarantined, the Thunder players were sent home while the Jazz players were tested (Donovan Mitchell tested positive today), then the New Orleans Pelicans refused to take the court against the Sacramento Kings because one of the referees, Courtney Kirkland, had worked the previous Utah Jazz game only a couple of days before. From this, only one option remained. Commissioner Adam Silver announced that the NBA was suspending the season indefinitely. Today, we learned that they’ll reevaluate the situation in 30 days, but for now, there will be no NBA action.
But today was the day all the dominos fell. Every major sport going on right now has suspended operations until further notice. Simply put, this is unprecedented. Nothing like this has ever happened. Over the course of 24 hours (from 9pm on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 to 9pm on Thursday, March 12, 2020), the following leagues/organizations ceased playing until further notice: the NBA, the NHL, the MLS, La Liga, PGA, NCAA, and more.
That’s right! Nothing’s happening the rest of March and into April. March Madness is cancelled (first time since 1939), the NBA season’s been pushed back (like I said, they’ll reevaluate next month), the NHL and the MLS are not holding games for thirty days. Also, tennis won’t be happening and the PGA (golf association) has cancelled all events through the first week of April, and the newly-founded XFL has cancelled the season (they’ll start again next year). The only sports that haven’t been cancelled as of right now at 10:33pm on March 12, 2020 are the UFC, NASCAR and WWE. That’s it.
Basically, sports coverage is going to look very different for the next month or so. I’m both eager and terrified to find out what that’ll be like, and it scares me.