COVID-19 Causes Sports World to Stop

The Day The coronavirus Made The Sports World Stand Silent

Do you remember “Dandy” Don Meredith’s famous Monday Night Football tagline – “turn out the lights, the party is over?” Well, that line took on a whole new meaning today as all major sports officially dragged their leagues into sports hibernation.

The rapid suspensions and season cancellations began on Wednesday night when the NBA wisely suspended their season after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19.

Warp-speed reaction is the best way to describe what happened next as the NHL and MLS suspended their seasons. MLB cancelled spring training and delayed the start of their season by at least two weeks. The XFL cancelled the rest of their season, but promised to return next year. The NFL cancelled it’s winter meetings and is waiting on making announcement about its April 23rd NFL Draft which historically draws hundreds of thousands of fans.

What was The PGA Tour Thinking?

The most surprising thing I saw today occurred on the PGA Tour which for some strange bizarre reason decided to carry-on as normal. I turned on The Golf Channel and saw the first round of The Players Championship in its full glory with golfers golfing and thousands of fans following players around the historic TPC Sawgrass golf course. My immediate reaction was what the hell is the PGA Tour thinking!

I thought are golfers like most children-some how immune to the Coronavirus? During the telecast Mike Tirico of NBC Sports repeatedly explained that the next three rounds would be played without fans, but today’s round was open to the public.

Look, we are all shaken up by the impact that COVID-19 is having on our daily lives, and in most cases the modern PGA Tour has been on the right side of history, but this was clearly a mistake by the PGA Tour.

As the round went on I flipped between CNN and The Golf Channel. On CNN I saw New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio declare a state of emergency over the spread of the deadly coronavirus. He went on to predict that New York City would most likely clear 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Back to The Golf Channel I went and I watched fans clustered together on the famous 17th whole. Flipping back to CNN I saw the stock-market suffer its worst crash since 1987’s Black Monday. But on The Golf Channel golfers are still golfing and hoards of fans are still following – it was surreal.

Heading back over to CNN I witnessed the empty, abandoned streets of Italy where the Coronavirus has already infected well over 15,000 people and caused over 1,000 deaths so far. Seriously, I started to wonder if the executives at the PGA Tour have access to CNN or this thing we call the internet. As the day went on more bad news flowed in from around the US and the World.

Rory McIlroy Applies Pressure to the PGA

Rory McIlroy, who is currently ranked number in the world applied pressure to the PGA Tour with the following statement regarding COVID-19:

“We need to shut it down then,” McIlroy said. “And that’s the thing, more than anything else: We need to get, everyone needs to get tested. … I think for us to keep playing on Tour, all the Tour players and people that are involved need to get tested and make sure that no one’s got it. Because, obviously, everyone knows you can have it and not have symptoms and pass it on to someone that’s more susceptible to getting very ill from it.”

The PGA Tour finally caved to the pressure at the end of the day cancelled the rest of The Players Championship. In addition, The PGA Tour wisely went on to cancel their next three tour events which is the right thing to do when you consider we are still in the beginning stages of the COVID-19 winter.

NCAA Creates March Madness

Then their was the NCAA who should have immediately cancelled March Madness after the NBA suspended their season. But the historically greedy NCAA who has been taking advantage of young athletes since its inception still planned on holding the tournament without any fans in the stands. It took Duke and Kansas who announced they were pulling out of the tournament for the NCAA to finally realize that would need to cancel March Madness.

March 12th, 2020 will historically go down as one of the worst days in the history of the United States, but we are a resilient nation full of reasonable people who ultimately want to the do the right thing. Sure, we will miss the games, and I’m sure the games will comeback, but for now peoples lives are way more important then a missed Anthony Davis 3-pointer.

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