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Bob Dunning: The sports world folded so quickly

We are now about a week into the total absence of sports in our community and in our country.

Surprisingly, I’ve heard very little dissent from those most directly affected, which is an encouraging sign that almost everyone is taking the coronavirus threat seriously.

365体育投注It was only eight or nine days ago that many of us were concerned that the Sheldon High boys basketball team was not going to be able to play its scheduled game in the CIF playoffs, something that seemed incredibly unfair to this collection of talented young men and their dedicated coaches and fans. It also seemed to be a decision made in haste.

Turns out, the folks in Elk Grove were ahead of the curve in a way many others should have been.

True, Sheldon was allowed to play and won its game on a last-minute basket, but then the whole tournament was scrapped before Sheldon had a chance to compete for the state championship.

365体育投注I never thought I’d see the NBA suspend its season or the NCAA cancel March Madness, especially on very short notice, but those folks turned out to be bold leaders in this crisis rather than reluctant followers.

365体育投注It was especially gratifying that Kansas and Duke, two perennial men’s basketball powers, announced they were pulling out of the Big Dance before the NCAA canceled the whole thing. Especially impressive given that Kansas was ranked No. 1 heading into the postseason. Again, they were leaders, not followers.

Soon thereafter, we saw the NCAA extend the cancellations to all spring sports. Local high schools put everything on hold.

365体育投注Major League Baseball pushed back the start of its season to a date uncertain.

National Hockey League arenas went dark just a few days after that heartwarming story about the Zamboni driver who became a celebrated NHL goalie for one night only. Reminded me of that long-ago TV show, “Queen for a Day.”

365体育投注It’s interesting that the NCAA called a halt to things just as the men’s and women’s basketball seasons were reaching their climax.

It’s also interesting that of the 353 teams that play Division I men’s basketball, every one of those teams, except for the champion, was guaranteed to end its season with a loss. Unless it was invited to the NIT and managed to win that second-tier tournament.

365体育投注The same for the 351 teams that play women’s Division I basketball.

Because of this, winning a conference championship has become almost meaningless, other than where it means a team will be seeded in the conference tournament or the NCAA bracket. Which makes me wonder if we’re putting way too much emphasis on the postseason compared to the regular season. Or even the true meaning, in a sporting sense, of each and every individual game, no matter its bearing on the postseason.

The other day I was looking at the TV sports listings to see if anyone was playing any sport at all these days. All I could find was professional “darts.” I am not making this up.

Yep, nothing like watching televised darts to while away the 24-7 lockdown.

365体育投注I remember when I was a little kid and some event I was looking forward to got canceled for some reason or another and my dad told me to “go for a swim or go shoot baskets at the school playground or go run around the block.”

365体育投注It turns out we’re pretty much not supposed to do any of those things today, now that the virus has hit home.

We do have a basketball hoop over the garage, and I presume the kids and I and my sweetheart can go play a quick pick-up game when no one is looking if we don’t let defenders get within six feet of the offense.

365体育投注In the last few years, I’ve taken up swimming because it’s easy on the joints, but now I can’t find a pool that’s open between here and Vancouver and our bathtub is too small for serious lap swimming.

For now, I’m running laps on the living room rug, hoping to burn enough calories to justify dinner.

May this all soon pass for all of us.

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

CalMatters


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