I still remember the day the world stopped. The sports seasons came to a screeching halt, and the pillars of our society seemed to collapse. The world was shocked to witness the cancellation of the NBA season, March Madness, and suspension of the 2020 MLB season. I remember the months leading up to the cancellation finding it hilarious when people would wear masks out, or touch elbows instead of shaking hands. Don’t get me started on people who would doubt the idea of sports stopping.
After reading the stories of heartbroken NCAA athletes who were robbed of their chance to compete for a National Championship, I woke up every morning disappointed I was not dreaming. It was hard to get on social media, every time I checked instagram I would see a new sad story of what it meant for sports to be pulled away from certain athletes. Even though watching sports was such an enjoyable part of my life, I knew it meant more to others. Enjoying sports gave me something to talk to with my friends, something to look forward to after suffering through homework. However, sports could never mean more to me than it did to an undrafted WNBA player who needed her paycheck to survive, or a NCAA Lacrosse star who was robbed of their senior year and will never play again.
However all of that changed when the UFC announced they would hold fights without any fans. Even though the UFC is not as widely admired such as the NFL, NBA, and MLB, my friends and I find it really entertaining and it is becoming extremely popular. Nothing can replace being together with friends, but being able to facetime with my friends and being able to watch sports really boosted my morale. My friends and I would spend time talking about the upcoming fights, spending time debating imaginary fights, and even got the UFC video game. I will always remember my excitement of the first fight about to start, how happy I was to have something that I had previously taken for granted.
When sports like baseball and basketball started to return, everything only got better, and by better I mean normal. There is no denying that at times, since their return, the coronavirus has creeped from behind and players have to quarantine. In addition, some of the choices that the athletes make off the field regarding safety makes you question if they deserve to be paid. Despite these caveats, it is nice to feel a sense of normalcy through professional sports continuing.