By JOSE M. ROMERO
It’s Sunday, and I should have been working this weekend. Today I should have been at a some sunny spring training location, working on a news story or a feature.
It had been an interesting spring until a few days ago. I’d written about Clayton Kershaw, the Giants new digs in Scottsdale and more, and had solid conversations with some players I interviewed for the first time, namely Anthony Rendon, Marcus Semien, Steven Souza Jr., and Tommy Pham.
Then I went off to Disneyland — it would close a few days after I returned — and things with the virus had changed things completely. The last couple of days in spring training were spent writing and contributing to such stories.
I was scheduled for an Arizona Coyotes hockey game Saturday night. Making money. Watching sports. With a crowd of fans, at least some who were keeping hope alive for a playoff spot for the local team.
But everything came to a sudden, surreal stop on Thursday, and well… you already know what happened with sports and the fears of an even bigger coronavirus outbreak.
On Friday I did some work, but by Saturday that was it. See, I’m a freelancer, and I don’t get paid if I am not covering an event or writing a story for a paying media company. When it stopped for the all the teams, all the leagues, it stopped for me.
Like everyone else, I’m happy to see players (players, not as many owners) offering to pay the wages of the arena and stadium workers impacted by the lack of games. It’s one of the best parts of watching people come together to help each other in these times of great uncertainty.
But folks in my line of work, I think, are largely forgotten. I’m not paid, either, unless I’m at a game, a workout, a press conference. None of those things are happening.
So to COVID-19, I say that’s enough. You are costing me thousands of dollars!
But the truth is, at least I have my health right now. And it’s not like before spring training I wasn’t watching my kids during the day. I’m just right back to it sooner than I figured.
Sports will be back sooner than later, I hope. I had so looked forward to Oregon women’s basketball making a run at a national title, and what seed the men’s team would have gotten in the NCAA tournament.
Gone, just like that.
I had looked forward to baseball’s opening day. Who knows when that will be? The NBA playoffs. Major League Soccer. Stanley Cup playoffs. My son’s debut season in Little League.
We all want a quick fix. For this virus to go away and for life to return to normal. Whatever normal is for sports junkies.
Even two days into no sports, listening to this administration fumble its way through how to combat the spread of the virus and how to get everyone tested just makes everything feel like this will take a long, long time to get under control. More than a few weeks.
The sun is shining in Arizona and the weather is perfect. A great day for baseball. Or a festival.
The world is an odd place right now. Stay positive, everyone. Wishing you good health and happy additional family time.
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