COVID-19 pandemic: Remembering when sports shut down in 2020

It was one of those days we’ll remember always. The difference is, we didn’t know it at the time. I was in Goodyear when Reds camp shut down. I listened to Tucker Barnhart say something like, “hopefully we’ll be back here in a couple weeks’’ and while I thought that was optimistic I didn’t think it was wishful thinking times 10.

Joey Votto talked that day, too. 354 days later, almost to the day, he tested positive.

What struck me most that day was, Votto and Barnhart were addressing the media in the media room at the team complex. That room is no bigger than a master bedroom. We were shoulder to shoulder and mask-less. I thought nothing of the danger in that, only of the irony.

Mobsters' special:Check out this subscription offer

If I knew last March 11 what I know today, I’d have been beyond worried. Sometimes, it’s best not to know everything. At the time, I assumed the great United States of America would get this thing under control quickly, and within a month or two we’d be back to normal, a little wiser and no worse for wear. It was, after all, just a few folks infected, in an assisted living facility in the state of Washington.

More:How COVID-19 shuttered sports in 48 hours a year ago today

The NBA shut down the next day. I thought that was a little extreme. The Players Championship followed suit the day after, March Madness the day after that. The rest has been a sports eclipse from which only now the light is re-emerging.

What have we lost? Beyond lives, obviously.

Cynics would suggest nothing. We have, in fact, gained an understanding that we can live without sports, at least without attending games. I don’t share that view. I think sports is an essential stitch in our country’s quilt. Live sports are among the few joys that actually bring us together. There’s no division among football fans for three hours at a Bengals game.

A foul ball lands between the seats during the sixth inning of the day game between The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates con Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Reds win 3-1.

Here’s what we’ve lost: The notion that we’re all in this together. Whatever “this’’ is. Apply the sports metaphor if you like. Our national “team’’ operates the way the fractious Boston Red Sox operated a couple generations ago:

Twenty-five players, 25 cabs to the ballpark.

We don’t share the ball.

Maybe we never really have. COVID-19 only served to make that plain.

Source link

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button