The First Day Without Sports
Today was…different. Not in a way that would cause despair. I mean it in a way that would cause you to sit down and think about why today was different. There weren’t any sports today. Instead of silly headlines about what unlucky things would happen in the sports world on Friday the 13th, there weren’t any headlines about sports at all.
There were more cancellations today, but I want to talk about two that are especially impactful. One is a new development, and that is The Masters Tournament, and the other is a postponement I forgot to discuss in yesterday’s post, the 2020 MLB Regular Season. Both of these events are integral to American culture and their absence will certainly feel strange.
The Masters Tournament has been held every year since 1946 (it was cancelled from 1943-1945 because of World War II). Simply put, it’s an American tradition. Every year, golf enthusiasts have made their way down to Augusta, Georgia at the beginning of every April to watch the most prestigious golf tournament tee off. But it won’t happen this year. Jack Nicklaus was asked about the feasibility of rescheduling the tournament, which he said wasn’t likely because it’d be “unfair to reschedule other events.” So, we won’t have a Masters this year. But as heartbreaking as this is, I don’t believe it compares to the delay of America’s Favorite Pastime.
The idea that the MLB has delayed the beginning of its season is practically unheard of. But the idea of cancelling the season entirely is unheard of. Most sports didn’t go on during WWII, but baseball did. There were a few obstacles, like players who served in the armed forces and even a potential cancellation that was ultimately thwarted because the commissioner appealed to FDR.
So far, this season hasn’t been cancelled, but Opening Day has been pushed back. That said, there are few things in the world more American than baseball (probably apple pie and McDonald’s). The idea of not having something that’s considered intensely American is anathema to our sensibilities. But, for the moment, it’s something that needs to happen.