I can’t begin to express my disappointment with what has transpired in the last few days.
I’ve been covering sports for 25 years now, and to say it’s unprecedented doesn’t come close to the events of the last week.
Pro sports suspended, college sports completely cancelled and high school sports put on hold in Texas for two weeks — at least so far.
All due to a microscope bug, a virus, COVID-19.
Is it that serious? I don’t know, but we’ve dealt with similar things before — and we’ve survived.
Obviously, everyone needs to be safe, and the experts say that this is necessary to prevent it from spreading further.
So should precautions be taken? Absolutely, but does it warrant everything being shut down completely?
The NCAA thought so — to the point of cancelling all spring sports at the collegiate level for the remainder of the season.
Was a suspension of play for a couple of weeks, or a month, not even a possibility?
It makes me think of the college seniors, most of whom are playing the last organized sports of their lifetimes, and the seasons lost.
The NCAA has extended eligibility for those seniors to next year, but is that even doable for graduates that are looking to start a career?
I think of the TLU softball team, which won the national championship last year — and now will not be able to defend that title, at least until next year — maybe.
I think of the high school teams and their coaches, who put in hours and hours of work, and whose seasons are now in jeopardy.
I think of the high school seniors, the basketball players whose chance at a state title were stopped mid-tournament in San Antonio.
They may never get that chance again.
I think of the high school athletes looking for scholarships to continue their athletic careers at the next level, and how this will affect them.
I think of the parents, some of whom I talked to on Friday night, and how they will deal with not being able to watch their kids play.
I think of the kids that no longer have that outlet — the ability to play sports for their schools for the next week or longer.
I think of the fans, who no longer have games to attend, the tournaments to go to, or the chance to watch the Sunday afternoon broadcasts.
I think of the cities and towns that host these events, and the millions of dollars of lost revenue.
I think of the charities supported by these events — and what they will do without that income in 2020.
The effects of this shutdown are far-reaching and substantial, and obviously not limited to the sports world. It’s scary on a financial level as well, as we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks.
The shutdown has already had an impact on this sportswriter.
Plans for stories and events to cover have been blown apart, and I’ll now have to work a little harder to fill these pages.
It’s nothing I haven’t done before and it will be fine, but man, it’s disheartening.
Now, I’ll just have to ride it out, like the rest of the world, and wait until we come out the other side.
I hope it’s sooner rather than later.