The way of life has changed for Americans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People all around the country are stuck at home due to stay-at-home orders issued by the government, resulting in millions of people being out of work. People are cooped up and bored, searching for hope in these uncertain times. It is challenging to stay alert and optimistic when one of the world’s best times has completely shut down: sports.
Leagues all across the world—ranging from high school competition to the big leagues—are being postponed, or even canceled, due to the pandemic. The first domino fell on March 11, when the NBA suspended their season indefinitely after finding out that Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the virus. After that, many major sports leagues across the world followed suit.
On March 12, the NCAA announced it would be canceling the men’s and women’s basketball championship tournaments as well as all spring and winter championships. Inevitably, the PacWest and Biola Athletics announced its own precautionary measures on March 15, which canceled all spring competition.
LIFE WITHOUT SPORTS
This is typically prime time for sports fans. The NBA season would be beginning the playoffs, the MLB would just be getting underway and the NFL’s draft and free agency period would be causing a stir. Not to mention overseas, where the world’s top soccer leagues would be reaching the climax of their seasons.
The lack of all these events has left a gaping hole in many Americans’ lives, including those of Biola students, and some are grappling with how to cope. When live game coverage is taken away, video games and esports are being used as a coping mechanism to combat the boredom. Others are turning to rewatching past sporting events. But ultimately, there really is no alternative for the real thing.
Not to mention student athletes, who are now facing concerns about the futures of their programs. While many are hoping that the COVID-19 pandemic will blow over by the fall, there is no guarantee that the sports world will return to normal by then.
RECOUPING, REBRANDING, REOPENING
It is taking time for everyone to adjust to the new ways of life the coronavirus has placed on the sports world in particular. Having something that has always been there suddenly stripped away is not an easy emotion to process. We don’t know when sports will return to the screen or when we can attend a live game. Sports analysts at the New York Times don’t predict the return of fans to stadiums and arenas until 2021—or whenever a vaccine is found.
Life without sports has been an unusual and unsettling feeling. Society has been spiraling out of the norm from a lack of a social interaction. Add on the suspension of all sporting events and you feel like you are going mad. Here are some ways we’ve found to overcome that feeling.
TOP 5 COPING MECHANISMS FOR SPORTS
GO OUTSIDE: Toss around a football with your family. Set some volleyball with your friends. Go one-on-one with your siblings. Get as much fresh air as you can with the people you are isolated with during the stay-at-home orders.
Esports: When it’s too hot to handle, or on the off chance it is a rainy afternoon, grab a controller and play as your favorite athletes on the big stage.
Go back in time: Rewatch some old championship games of your favorite sporting teams and rejuvenate the competitive spirit back into you.
Watch sports movies: May I recommend a classic: Space Jam?
Sports books/podcasts: Need something more engaging than a movie? Check out Paper Lion: The Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback or 30 for 30 podcasts.