COVID-19 and Sports One Year Later

You are going to see a lot of similar headlines across all landscapes as we commemorate one full year of Covid here in the US.

Rob Adams, friend, radio host and voice of the Hudson Valley Renegades (a NY Yankees affiliate, by the way) offers a great description of a surreal evening on his blog:

I went to Grand Prix NY for The Clubhouse. I arrived extra early to do Doubleheader from there, meaning there would be a few hours to hang out between shows. I know I eviscerated the CIAC and a few others for their decision-making.

The shame of it was that I had an offer to do high school basketball in an empty gym that same night. I remember thinking I’d be up for that challenge. Little did I know I’d get my chance eventually, but it would take until 2021.

But instead, there I was in Mount Kisco where, later on, we did The Clubhouse for our first show of the season. It was pretty standard fare before Dave Torromeo, Mark Jeffers, Bob Small, Jarrett Torromeo and I sat down to dinner. 

And then? All hell broke loose. The Rudy Gobert news was announced. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson followed. It had a feeling of ‘what’s next?’ to it.

NBA games were getting canceled. Rumors began to fly.

And yet? We all shook hands almost defiantly as we said goodnight.

And so, it began. It was going to be “two weeks” which seemed insane—we all know that was a misnomer and while I loathe to rehash it, because it sucked for all of us in varying degrees, I choose to reflect here by saying thanks.

Of course, to all the frontline workers; to the nurses and the doctors and the EMT personnel—we are FOREVER grateful. To those who sacrificed to find cures, help the elderly, heal the sick and create vaccines, naturally we salute you.

And personally, I’d like to thank the “sports world.”

To a large extent and for many, sports kept us going. Even though we knew it was not the same—we were getting games; golf and hockey in the summer, football throughout the fall, and college basketball re-booting and in a small way it made us feel normal.

We couldn’t go to arenas, stadiums or other venues, but we watched games on TV. And while people were suffering and dying and we were all praying or lamenting at the horror of the Covid death toll while politicians argued about what was right and what was wrong, SPORTS helped us get through it.

Athletes who opted in played with the ever-present danger of getting Covid. We have to remember that they took that risk, as did the people behind the scenes; the cameramen and women, the network people, the team and league executives who all took risks in order to get us a product, to keep us entertained and engaged, and for this I say a hearty Thank You to all of the above!

Maybe Shakespeare said it best in Twelfth Night: “I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks.”

 

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Dave Torromeo
Dave Torromeohttps://davetorromeo.com
Dave Torromeo has served as the head of the Sport Business Management Program at Manhattanville College since its inception in July 2006. He has over 30 years of experience in sports business, including serving as VP of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, (NFF), 15 years in collegiate athletics and as an industry consultant. He has worked in nearly every capacity of the sports world, from a minor league team, to a D-I athletic program and the Football Foundation. He is also a consultant to the sports industry and founder of Future Sports Business Executives, Sports Business Advocates, LLC which operates the Sports Business Institute.

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