I am an assistant sports editor for The Fordham Ram. I work in the sports department at WFUV. I contribute to the broadcasts and video content of Fordham Sports Information. I envision a career for myself in sports. Clearly, so much of my life centers around sports. Yet with the heightening crisis of the coronavirus and shutdown of sports nationwide, I have begun to wonder, is this temporary loss such a bad thing?
I specifically say temporary, because I am not lobbying for sports to disappear. They are special and constitute many of my greatest memories and passions. The permanent loss of sports would create a tremendous void in my life. However, the current situation is far different. There is no reason to risk danger out on the playing field. There is no purpose in competing without any fans in the stands. There is simply no reason for sports to be played at the moment.
It is a depressing situation, with spring seasons just beginning and some still waiting to get started. College athletes, seniors, are losing their final season. One of sports’ finest times in March Madness put to an end. It is unfortunate when so much of what sports fans and players love is gone. We all hope sports, and the entire world, will soon resume to normal, but that is not to say there are no positives in the meantime.
I do not think people realize how much time we have wrapped up in sports. Whether it be watching, working, conversing or playing, sports are an ongoing affair; they are both a source of great excitement and frustration. With all this focus placed on sports, we can sometimes lose sight of some of the other more valuable parts of life, because sports provides so much value itself.
Instead of watching a basketball game every night, I have instead watched a new film with my brothers. Now, we are forced to find something else to put on television, or if we don’t, to actually talk as a family. Instead of listening to endless arguments about the latest sports drama during the day, I often take a walk. The loss of sports has opened up the opportunity to do so much more.
The athletes robbed of an entire season may not feel the same way. The long hours of hard work, road trips and memories have all gone to waste. But they have the chance to engage with a life off the field. C.J. McCollum sent out a particularly important tweet, “I hope all the players take some time to really work on life outside of basketball . Using your resources and celebrity to your advantage . Take the meetings. Diversify and learn to explore other avenues of income while you’re still in the league. Bc when it’s over it’s over !” Most college athletes may soon face life after sports, and this presents a chance to gain a head start.
That is not to mention all the incredible clips circulating social media. What began as Trae Young’s sock-shooting three-point contest evolved into Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union’s makeshift shooting contest with their 12-year-old daughter Zaya as the basket. Stephen Curry is taking up his golf game with a trick shot, while LeBron James is on Instagram Live cherishing previously impossible moments with his family. Losing the ability to play the game they all love, they have found something different to do in a time that gave them the rare opportunity to do so.
For many people in and around the field, sports can seem like the only avenue. From a young age, many children desire to be nothing less than a professional athlete or the next great broadcaster. It is by no means wrong to do these things; I do myself. However, there is so much more to life that lies outside of sports, but once one becomes involved in the industry, it can become hard to realize that. I love what I do, and I am sure we all do and would not trade it for anything, but it certainly has a stranglehold on life that can be difficult to escape. This presents a chance to slow down for a while.
Sports should not disappear forever, and the longer this drought continues, the more difficult it will become. It was strange watching the Champions League played in front of empty stands, bordering on pointless. It was disappointing to hear the cancellation of the A-10 Tournament and that I would not be able to go another night. It was even more upsetting to discover the cancellation of spring sports, and most devastating, to learn we would not be returning to campus for the remainder of the year. I miss the moments on campus and watching soccer on the weekends or a slew of nightly NBA games on the weekdays. It is hard to see so much of the world sidelined.
However, it is important to find the positives in every situation. This situation, as chaotic as it may be, presents an opportunity for all of us in sports to do something different, to appreciate another side of life. I intend to take full advantage of this opportunity but look forward to the day when we can all take the field again.