Sports cancelled

Coronavirus impact on the sports world in the Sunshine State

We here in South Florida and Florida in general are spoiled. We have great weather, plenty of beaches and nightlife, sports teams and no state taxes. And, as of late we have been quite the sports mecca.

We’ve watched as the Miami HEAT brought back our pride and excitement back to AmericanAirlines arena. The Miami Marlins were in the midst of spring training. The Florida Panthers were on the ice hoping to skate their way into the post season.

And having just hosted the Pro Bowl, the Super Bowl and with the upcoming slate of sporting events-- March and April were poised to be just as entertaining as sports fans and some of the world’s top athletes were set to descend upon the Sunshine State.

We had the Miami Open set to open its doors at Hard Rock Stadium to some of the biggest names in tennis including some our hometown favorites the Williams sisters (Venus and Serena) and our newest little darling Coco Gauff.

The NFL was set to host the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities Combine at the Dolphins’ training facility offering some of our own a chance to strut their stuff in front of the pro scouts.

Inter Miami, South Florida’s newest soccer team was set to debut at the old home of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. NASCAR was hitting the tracks in Homestead.

And rounds one and two of the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was taking over Tampa.

Florida’s sports dance-card was full.

But with the coronavirus now being classified as a pandemic, none of these sporting events will be taking place and our March Madness has quickly turned into March sadness.

And we are now tasked with getting out minds right. We need to get used to the fact that we will be without sports of any kind for a while. As the latest recommendation coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that they are now urging a nationwide halt to events/gatherings of 50 plus people over the next eight weeks.

Whew, that’s a long time--I can hear the song “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” (the she being sports) playing over and over in my head.

It might would be a little bit easier to swallow that no-sports-for-eight weeks pill, if that recommendation didn’t also include some of our other favorite past-times such as outdoor concerts, clubs, eating out and beach outings.

But we should not lose sight of the big picture, that lives are at stake and living life is bigger than any sport, bigger than our entertainment.

As my grandmother used to say, “I am so glad that troubles don’t last always.”

Sports and some semblance of normalcy will be back soon.

Some small things we can do to help facilitate this return:

Please, please cover your mouth when you cough. Always wash your hands and don’t be stingy with the hand sanitizer. Practice social distancing. The more we adhere to this, the more we can slow the spread of this infectious disease while they work on a vaccine and/or a cure.

If we do this, we will all soon be back to enjoying our favorite sports. We will be able to buy all the water and hand-sanitizer that we want. And, we won’t feel guilty about passing up that roll of toilet paper on the shelf (nobody’s been able to explain hoarding this one to me).

So, stay clean, stay safe, enjoy your family and friends (in small groups) and sports will be back in no time.

Remember, cleanliness is next to godliness.

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