Column: March Sadness

Maggie Dalton, Head Photo & art & columnist

Sporting events all over the world have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone wants to keep as close to a normal life as possible but watching sports is a huge part of people’s normal lives. So, how did we even get to this point?

It started out with players no longer shaking hands after games and matches. This precaution was put in place to spread less germs however, after two athletes wrestle or are constantly guarding one another, it seems silly to not allow them to touch after the fact. Whatever germs that would have spread during that handshake probably already did.

Then, professional sports leagues announced that the games would be played in empty arenas. These games could still be televised with the audiences being self-quarantined in their own homes. This seemed like a good idea because the only people that could spread the virus would be the two teams and camera crews.

Rudy Gobert, a basketball player for the Utah Jazz, tested positive for COVID-19. Once he tested positive, the NBA suspended their season. This upset a lot of basketball fans, especially due to the fact that the NBA  was supposed to head into the playoff season mid-April. 

Not long after the NBA suspended their season, the NCAA announced that the NCAA women and men’s basketball tournament was cancelled. The tournament, otherwise known as “March Madness,” is a very popular time for people that are basketball fanatics and those who may not even watch basketball to create brackets and predictions of how the tournament will play out. This tournament is always enjoyed during the long months of March and April. It is popularized by the brackets, which has the ability to create a competition among friends, similar to fantasy football, and it’s exciting atmosphere. The college players are all fighting for their school and to maybe play in the NBA.

While some March Madness games are not so close in points, others come down to the last second buzzer beater. In other occurrences there are crazy underdog upset stories. In 2018, 16-seed UMBC beat number one seed Virginia in the first round of the tournament. This was the first time a 16-seed beat a 1-seed. 

While a sports watcher may be upset with the postponement and cancellations of their beloved sports, there are bigger underlying issues. Professional sports players and coaches  may have above average salaries and don’t need to be worried during this break, but arena staff are losing out on their salaries. 

Arena security, food vendors and custodians aren’t getting paid during this time of cancellation. Like many jobs, social distancing has had an immense impact on their salaries and jobs. Many people across the nation are applying for unemployment. 

While students may be upset that a common form of entertainment is gone for them, other people are struggling to provide for their family. 

There are a ton of silly sports you can make up with friends and family during the COVID-19 quarantine. This quarantine doesn’t mean that sports in general are cancelled, it just means that sports need to become a little more creative.