I know many are tired of hearing this, but we avid sports fans all remember where we were when the NBA canceled their games for the day due to a positive Covid-19 test, and as the days dragged on, league after league canceled games indefinitely. The sports world stopped spinning, and as everything around us ground to a screeching halt, no sports to take our minds off the uncertainty hit hard.
Sure, we got the Last Dance, the documentary that gave us a brief flicker of hope and distraction, but even then, that was soon over. A spring with no March Madness, no spring training and Opening Day, no last stretch to the NBA playoffs, no anything, began to look up when NASCAR, no surprise, announced they would be the first league to return to action at Darlington Raceway on May 17th, 2020. Sure, most of the sports world isn’t like me and into NASCAR. After all, it’s just a bunch of left turns, right? And yet these same people that dogged on NASCAR for not even being a sport welcomed its return with open arms. The sports world, nowhere near full speed, at least began to spin once again.
The NBA eventually came back with the bubble in Orlando, while the MLB played a very shortened season. After long months of no sports and lots of agony, things seemed to be returning to as normal as they could be. College football was filled with votes and controversy, but teams played, a champion was crowned, and I got to watch my favorite sport for eight hours every Saturday, a welcome break from life.
Now, we are in that final stretch leading up to the NBA playoffs. The NFL Draft is tonight, the MLB is well within the start of their season, NASCAR is continuing on, just finishing an insane race at Talladega, and F1 and Indy Car have just kicked off their seasons. Most importantly, after two years, we got to fill out brackets and skip classes or call off sick from work to watch March Madness. The world of sports is indeed back at full speed again, and it has never felt better.
They always say, “You never know what you have until it’s gone” and that quote never hit deeper until last March. I will now never take watching a NASCAR race or football game or March Madness for granted ever again because I now know what it’s like to not be able to do that in a time where we needed it most.