From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
It was already enough to fight through a blizzard at the end of February in the north country, but that was just a drop in the creek compared to what scholastic, collegiate and pro sports have had to recently endure.
To any type of sports fanatic, the pandemic of COVID-19 or the spread of the coronavirus is ultimately frightening, terrifying and the worst nightmare that anyone could have imagined on the human populous.
Every level of sports in this country — from the quiet landscape of Chateaugay to the bright lights of Los Angeles — is muted because of this disease.
Every decision recently made — from postponing high school basketball championships to pro leagues to cancelling area college spring sports — has been the right choice.
Questions outnumber answers currently by at least a 10:1 ratio, and this scene would have been a very topical episode of the masterful Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone,” a 1960s TV series that dealt with imagination and the surreal.
Back to the present, when Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top expert on infectious diseases, speaks, you must listen. His voice offers important information about one’s health and the proper directives to stay strong. Fauci is the key face now in sports, supplanting LeBron James, Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Mahomes and Mike Trout — at least for the next month.
When upsetting news hits this country, sports fans can take refuge in their games, competitions, passions and emotional attachment to their players and teams. Sports are a critical fabric woven into this nation for longer than all of us have been alive. But, in a finger’s cruel snap, sports have vanished — leaving every sports fan in a state of confusion, bitterness and frustration.
The NCAA Hoops Tournament is gone with the wind; NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS seasons are suspended until who knows when; the prestigious Masters golf tournament may have to tee off sometime in September; the Kentucky Derby may hit the skids this week; and the NFL draft in Las Vegas could become another casualty in the next few weeks.
I particularly ache for the seniors and coaches on area high school basketball and hockey teams seeing their quest for a state title being derailed by an invisible force that’s real and a killing machine, most notably to the elderly and persons who have multiple underlying health issues.
We can only hope to survive this national emergency and then once again — when it is safe for all — see our games return to the court, on ice, diamond, field and appreciate how lucky we’ve been to enjoy all sports in our lifetimes.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org