The thrill of the little things and the agony of losing them


Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash

Picture this: you open a door and behind it is another dimension of sports. It is a dimension beyond fields and courts, a dimension where fans are home and athletes rest. You are entering the “Sports Twilight Zone”.

Even Rod Serling couldn’t imagine the world we are living in right now. COVID-19 has probably impacted all of us in some way or another, such as not being able to see the ones we love. Our lives have changed and feats of athletic competition are no exception.  The NBA postponed its regular season after Rudy Gobert-Bourgarel of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19. Most professional and amateur sporting league events either were canceled or postponed shortly after that, including MLB, MLS, NHL, PGA, NASCAR, and NCAA.

In their simplest form, sports are just entertainment and we realize why they had to shut down everything for now. However, if you are a diehard sports fan such as myself, looking around at the empty arenas and venues can make you sad. Sports are used as an escape; now they are just a casualty in this tragic time for all of us. But if quarantine and social distancing have taught me anything, it’s the little things about athletics I miss the most like looking out over a baseball field and seeing fresh cut grass and a properly cut infield, fresh ice at a hockey game, inbound passes, foul balls, even the caution sign in NASCAR. Hopefully, we will be a little more appreciative the next time we see little things that we often take for granted.

Sports also are a community activity that bring us together, whether you root for Tiger Woods at Augusta National Golf Club, your kid’s little league team named the Tigers, or anything in between, you are still bonded by your shared common interest.

The roar of the crowd is now just a hollowness; it’s what I miss the most. I went to as many SMSU sporting events as I could and it helped me become more involved with my fellow students and the school. I feel very fortunate to know a lot of our student-athletes on campus. As far as sports go, that’s the group of people we should feel for right now: the high school or college student who just wanted to play his or her favorite sport while also getting an education. We should especially feel for the seniors who might have lost their last chance to step on the field.

I know that this isn’t the end or goodbye to sports, nor should it be everyone’s main focus right now. But we miss them and can’t wait for buzzer beaters, Hail Mary’s, and walk-off winners. We miss Opening Day, the Final Four, and the giving out of a green jacket.

As far as when they will return is unknown at the moment, the leagues, teams, and players are working with each other to return. If we all do our part, we will knock out COVID-19. We will have the roar of the crowd again and you’ll be able to appreciate your favorite little things about sports, whether it’s watching a ball fly through the air or the people you share that sports experience with. We will get through this and we won’t be in the “Sports Twilight Zone” anymore.