COVID has the sports world running in place

Pictured: People who have COVID
Photo: Getty Images

This is my last Mourning After of 2021, and in some ways it feels like the first. Not that we ran on the spot, as much as we sprinted down the track and got back to where we started. I guess that’s how Jerry Seinfeld described horse racing. “We just went here! What was the rush ?! “

The stories all look the same. The NHL and NBA seasons are a disaster and we really can’t understand how representative they are. Maybe we will know in February or March. We have crowds again, which we didn’t have in January 2021. But now you see crowds at sporting events, when they actually take place, and the only thing you can think is, “Is this really a good idea?” Or maybe, “Boy that probably won’t last much longer.”

We still have organizations trying to see what they can get away with. Just yesterday, the IIHF had to cancel the World Juniors, which they tried to force thanks to the television contract they have for it. That didn’t stop them from canceling all other events in January, including the women’s U-18s for the second consecutive year. This does not mean that the IIHF took all possible precautions to ensure that the tournament ran smoothly. The players weren’t full of bubbles, which meant US and Czech teams shared a hotel with the general public, including a wedding reception. And that’s in Alberta, which is something of Canada’s Florida (Canada actually has a couple of Florida’s, but Alberta is the biggest at least when it comes to handling Covid as their policy has pretty much boiled down to ” fuck you”)

The NBA and NFL wanted to shorten the isolation periods for their players who tested positive, and then the CDC coincidentally (or not) got along. Did any of them have people’s health in the foreground? Or was it to keep the industry as close to normal as possible? Those NFL playoffs are only a couple of weeks away now.

All of this leaves many fans watching the sport from a feeling of distance. You watch NBA, NHL or even Premier League games right now, squads cut to the bone or whatever they can find outside the arena or gathering guys from the local Y and wonder what exactly you’re watching. Not what you’re used to, that’s for sure. It’s the same feeling as watching matches in empty buildings. What is this, exactly? It looks like a representation of the game you came for. A facsimile.

We wonder how these leagues will make up the games and if the times will still be “real” by whatever method they come up with. There are NHL teams that have seven or eight games to catch up. They can’t cram all those into the now vacant Olympic break. Will the playoffs be distorted when all of this is said and done?

It’s more frustrating because we felt like we were only breathing fresh air for a second there, somewhere during the summer. We felt like we got a taste of what it would be like when it was all over. And now it looks like we’re basically back to the start (even if vaccines actually mean we’re some distance from the start).

The underlying problem is that it’s hard to watch and talk about sports when you can’t escape the feeling that it shouldn’t happen. I wanted to get excited about yet another Bulls chime on the Hawks last night, but you can’t ignore how devastated the Hawks roster is, and that people probably shouldn’t be gathering at UC right now, and it’s hard to gauge what that meant. in the long run, both in terms of ranking and of society as a whole.

Hopefully, this latest peak will drop faster than the previous ones, as some have speculated. Hopefully we’ll go back to watching the sport and that it looks natural again, instead of having it ripped out from under our feet again and falling into another bear trap. But it becomes more difficult to buy in this period than it was last time.

Anyway, happy new year to you all. Thanks for reading. Let’s hope 2022 brings us the time when we don’t have to discuss this shit anymore.

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