HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Sports have always been able to bring people together, even during some of the most difficult times in history. But that hasn’t been the case throughout the fight against COVID-19.
Months went by without a single touchdown or home run scored, but things are slowly but surely getting back to normal. Let’s take a look back at the past 365 days.
The craziness that has been the past 12 months in sports all started with the NBA. They indefinitely suspended their season on March 11, 2020 and then the dominoes really began to fall on March 12th.
“I’ve not had a situation as difficult and emotional as this one. It was a moment I had to stop and actually catch myself and recompose myself.” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said at a press conference. The SEC canceled men’s basketball play in Nashville.
Other conference tournaments all over the nation were also shutting down.
The MLB put the season on hold before it could even get past spring training.
Everything was being canceled including the long awaited Rocket City Trash Pandas inaugural season.
It got to a point where no sports were in action at the high school, college, or professional level, something that people have never seen before.
UAH director Cade Smith made the comment, “I don’t know if it’s easier or harder that there are thousands of people feeling the same way right now.”
Months went by with no competition, no one really knew what the future held. But sports slowly came back.
The new normal involved social distancing on the bench and sideline, little to no fans, masks, and countless Zoom interviews.
College Football made it all the way through a National Championship and basketball is hitting postseason play. Right where they had to stop in their tracks in 2020.
Not everyone has been on a normal schedule though. Instead of playing in the fall like Alabama and Auburn, the Alabama A&M Bulldogs are playing this spring.
“Our guys were just getting anxious you see other people playing and you think we could be playing. Everybody was so excited just ready to hit somebody else and finally play a football game.” Bulldogs head coach Connell Maynor said.
Sports that are normally played in the spring, like baseball and softball, are competing again after nearly a year off the field.
This past year has taught us all a lot but Bob Jones baseball head coach Jared Smith says one thing he’ll take away from it all is to have a little more fun in the sport that he loves. “Probably not put as much emphasis on the bad things that we do cause we’re gonna get another day to play hopefully and bounce back once we do.”
People say you don’t know how good something is until it’s gone, which we’ve seen this past year with sports.
As we slowly get back to normal everyone, whether you’re an athlete, coach, or fan, will appreciate that next game or competition a little bit more than you might have before COVID-19.