By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub
We’ve lost them all before, of course. We’ve just never lost them all at once.
But America is ill – or, more specifically, the world is – and so here we are in America’s toy department without games of any kind for the foreseeable future. It is unquestionably the right thing do, a reminder of the things that truly matter. And yet, sports are entertainment as much as they are competition or business, a place we turn to for distraction from reality – or, again, illness.
But here’s what makes this different: we’re losing them all at once, at least with the possible exception of football, which still may or may not delay the start of free agency next week. As reported by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk – just hours after the league announced it had no intention of delaying the start of the official league year – the NFL may now do just that.
Even so, the NFL is not playing games – and won’t until at least August – which brings us back to the peculiar reality of having no games of any kind in any arena.
Baseball? Oh, MLB has had multiple work stoppages, the most recent in the spring of 1995 that limited most teams to 144 games. Hockey had a work stoppage as recently as the 2012-13 season, when the regular season consisted of just 48 games. Teams have already played more than that this year. The NBA had a 66-game schedule in 2011-12, when a work stoppage similarly halted play.
But now we are losing them all at once – along with the NCAA college basketball tournament and The Masters, the last of which just announced plans to postpone this year’s event. No Boston Marathon, either. Just nothing.
And so, for as much as we have been through something like this before … we haven’t. At least not really. And whether you work in sports or just watch them, the effect is really no different. We must all just sit and wait now, understanding the potential impact of something as simple as going to the supermarket. And we wait for the games and the events to return in part for the entertainment, but really more for what it would mean.
That things are back to normal.
And that America – and the world – is reasonably healthy once again.
You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.