This Sunday will mark 60 days since that fateful night on March 11 when Utah Jazz star center Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with COVID-19, thus forcing the NBA to postpone its season. Nothing has been the same as we have been without sports ever since.
No NCAA Tournament. No NBA Playoffs. No Kentucky Derby. No collegiate or high school spring sports. Sure, we had a fun virtual NFL Draft, but it just isn’t the same as real, live sports.
However, there are seemingly signs of light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. Thursday saw announcements which, for the first time since that Wednesday in March, give us something to look forward to in the sports world.
First, was Gov. Andy Beshear’s announcement that youth sports may return in Kentucky on June 15. Then, the NFL released its full season schedule for the 2020-21 campaign with the Super Bowl champion Chiefs set to kickoff the season vs. the Texans on Sep. 10.
All of that news seems to be inherently positive, right? Well, welcome to the new world of sports that is fueled by speculation and the dates don’t matter!
Beshear made sure to say that June 15 date is tentative, and the NFL also laid out possible contingency plans to essentially start/delay the season on any date of their choosing.
So even with this positive news, one thing is still abundantly clear: No one, quite frankly, has any concrete idea what the immediate future of our society is going to be like moving forward — let alone the future of sports.
I’m not trying to be a “Debbie Downer” here, but I think it’s important to be able to find that common ground in the sports world in the coming weeks and months. Our expectations have to be leveled and we have to be careful not to speculate about speculation.
KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett has even said that he doesn’t truly know what the high school sports calendar is going to look like in the fall and winter.
You can find more examples of leaders throughout all levels of athletics essentially tossing their hands up in the air and saying, “Your guess is as good as mine.”
The fact of the matter is that until a widespread vaccine is produced for this virus, there is absolutely no way to tell when sports will return back to their normal state. Everything is just a guessing game considering that vaccine hasn’t been made yet.
Like our parents always told us, “Patience is a virtue.” Is that much easer said than done during a time of a crisis of this magnitude? Of course it is.
However, nothing good ever comes out of false hope, unfulfilled promises or unrealistic expectations. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do in life is take things one step at a time and continue to look for the positives.
Sports will return, and things eventually will get back to normal. We just have to be sure not to celebrate until the final buzzer of this pandemic has sounded.