You’ve probably heard that bar trivia thing where the ONLY two days of the year in which there are NO pro sports games . . . are the day before and the day after the Baseball All-Star Game.
Well, guess what: The coronavirus has made it so that there are no pro sports . . . FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
On Wednesday, the NBA shocked everyone by suspending their SEASON after RUDY GOBERT of the Utah Jazz tested positive, and yesterday, basically every other active sports league followed suit.
Here’s the full rundown:
1. The NHL: Yesterday morning, the NHL suspended its season immediately . . . saying that the “goal” is to resume play as soon as it’s “appropriate and prudent.”
They also pointed out that their leagues share the same facilities and locker rooms as the NBA and other sports, and that it, quote, “seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point.”
There have been two seasons in NHL history where the Stanley Cup was not awarded: In 1919 because of the Spanish flu and in 2005 because of a lockout.
2. Major League Baseball: Opening Day was originally scheduled for March 26th, but that isn’t happening. For now, MLB has pushed back the start of the season “at least two weeks,” but it could be extended further.
Spring training games have been suspended, and Minor League Baseball is following suit. On the bright side, a later spring start means there will probably be less baseball games played IN THE SNOW.
The Major Leagues haven’t had a disruption like this since 1995, when the season was shortened from 162 games to 144 following a seven-month strike.
3. The NCAA: This week, the NCAA announced that its annual March Madness tournament would continue without fans. But now, there won’t be players either.
The NCAA canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments . . . saying, quote, “This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, and our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic.”
The NCAA has canceled championships in every spring sport, which includes hockey, baseball, and lacrosse . . . again, that’s CANCELED, not postponed.
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament had been played every year since 1939.
4. The NBA: They were the first to suspend action on Wednesday. Yesterday, team owners pushed for the league to reevaluate the situation in 30 days . . . but it’s way too early to say WHEN or IF the season will resume.
5. The NFL: Obviously, football is a long way off, but the NFL is a year-round business, so there has been some disruption . . . and confusion.
The league says they’re not delaying the start of the season . . . for now at least . . . but they have canceled some annual meetings that were scheduled to be held from March 29th through April 1st.
It’s also unclear how it will affect next month’s draft . . . but combines have been canceled, and teams are restricting the travel of coaches and scouts. There’s also talk of training facilities being closed, and free agency being impacted.
6. MLS: For now, Major League Soccer has suspended its season for 30 days, effective immediately . . . and the U.S. Soccer Federation has canceled scheduled friendlies due to the coronavirus pandemic.
7. The XFL. They’re done. In a statement, they said, quote, “All players will be paid their base pay and benefits . . . all ticket holders will be issued refunds . . . [and] the XFL is committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years.”
8. Golf: The PGA Tour was planning on staging events without spectators in the coming weeks, but late last night, they canceled the Players’ Championship, as well as their next three events.
(Makes you wonder what ESPN will be talking about for the next few weeks. That’s not even a joke. Over the next few days, they’ll have some fall-out from the various shutdowns . . . but after that?)
There are still a FEW leagues that haven’t suspended all events . . .
1. NASCAR: They are moving ahead with scheduled races at Atlanta and Homestead, but no fans will be permitted to attend.
2. UFC: Supposedly, they’ll put on an event on Saturday in Brazil in an empty arena. UFC also has major events scheduled for the next three weekends.
3. The PBA: The coronavirus can’t stop people from BOWLING. Although, the PBA is restricting spectators to players, families, and officials. (Were there others who’d normally show up to a PBA event??)