I have to say that withdrawal is an interesting concept. It shouldn’t ever be trivialized (withdrawal from drugs is an awful process). However, it completely applies in this trying time when all sports have been postponed/cancelled. Well, there was one exception, at least for today.
UFC had a Fight Night event in Brasilia, Brazil in an empty arena. The event went off without a hitch, but it was very interesting to see an entire match card held in front of no crowd, only trainers, commentators and referees. However, it was great to see any kind of sporting event being held in this trying time.
Throughout history, sports have always been used as a vehicle to help the public get through and mentally overcome stress. For instance, after the 9/11 attacks, obviously life stopped for a few days, but then sports became the first big industry to get back to work. And the effect that sports had on New York City (Mike Piazza’s homerun in the Mets’ first game after the attacks or President Bush throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium in the World Series) was tremendous in getting the city back to normal.
But we can’t have that now. We can’t have big crowds in stadiums, and we can’t have sweaty people sharing bodily fluids. So, what are we to do? Well, for now, we wait. Every professional league has suspended play for at least two weeks, so we’ll see what happens come April. But for right now, we’ll just have to make do with highlights.