Wickedly Sick Sports


Image by BedexpStock from Pixabay

Marcus Douglas, Staff Writer

The year 2020 has been full of surprises, like COVID-19. But it ended; sort of, in about May, restaurants opened up; things seemed to get back to normalcy, everything but sports. 

NBA season was active before the shutdown but was canceled due to it around the time a finals championship would’ve been won; in July, the season restarted in a bubble. No, not an actual soap bubble but in Disney world secluded and only reserved for the NBA and the teams which was a quite outlandish idea never done before. No fans just basketball which made interesting tv seeing faces of fans watching the game on zoom.  After all the bubble worked, 0 positive coronavirus cases but could that be possible for other sports in America.

Let’s take a look at the state I’m from, Illinois, tennis is very active, golf made it to the state championship, cross country had issues in the beginning but made it through. Well, what about high school football, volleyball, and soccer in Illinois? That’s where things got a little different; fall rolled around and none were in sight; all moved, as high risk sports scheduled for the spring of 2021.   But why, you ask? COVID-19, was thought to be more contracted during these sports by Governor Pritzker, so he postponed the sports leaving athletes unable to participate in the 2020 season. No this wasn’t a national decision because other sports were full go but 16 out of the 50 weren’t. Quite a hard pill for athletes to swallow – watching friends of other states have a chance to earn themselves an athletic scholarship in their sport. Even with a low rate of covid rates Illinois didn’t budge to change although it’s surrounding states Michigan and Wisconsin did. Nor will Illinois decide to in 2020, but look on the bright side, high school sports weren’t the only ones. 

Collegiate sports were looking to have a season, so they thought. Conferences from Division 1- NAIA cancelling their seasons moving to the spring saddened fans, players, and parents all tried to play a part in changing these thoughts. Simple hashtags on Twitter to protest began relevant in the country – all for the chance to play. Petitions release, statements made to hopefully change these decisions, but, just like other states for high school, the collegiate committee also decided to bring back sports. Breath of fresh air is well needed, but some players opted out of an understanding trend at all levels of sports giving players the option to actually not participate in their particular sport due to the risk of the still existing coronavirus in safety of family members or own safety most players stated. Now the collegiate level is in full go all conferences in the Division 1 FBS are in season while some schools don’t allow fans in the stadium most still do hold that same atmosphere but with masks.

Many collegiate football athletes opted out of their season to prepare for the 2021 draft but is the NFL even playing? Initially, no season was postponed without any preseason. The NFL 2020 season made its debut; not only was it a first week of positive Covid-19 tests, but also numerous injuries because of the canceled preseason – unprepared players paid the price, as did teams who refused to take proper coronavirus protocols seriously such as wearing masks on the sideline could cost a coach a couple thousand dollars.

But, all in all, aren’t sports everywhere paying the price? Nothing will be normal again, nothing will be the same, this is the new normal it’s saddening it is our reality.