Over the last three weeks, COVID-19 has taken its toll on everything from temporarily stopping international flight, institutions of every level of learning, all sports leagues, non-essential businesses, and even smaller gatherings of people. With the spread of this pandemic, we have experienced something in the sports world that we have never seen: the cancellation of all leagues at once. From 1940 to 1944, most sports leagues would be cancelled, but there were still sports going on, even if they were at a minimum. This is where we could look back at historic team mergers such as the Pennsylvania Steagles. In 1943, due to the number of players that went to the service, the NFL had a shortage of players. To counter this, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers joined forces to form the Pennsylvania Steagles. Though the Steagles didn’t make the playoffs and finished third in the East, there was still a team and football was still played.
Fast forwarding to today, there are no sports being played whatsoever. We have lost historic tournaments like March Madness, the NHL, the NBA, and every soccer league around the world have taken a hiatus, MLB Opening Day has been postponed, Wimbledon has been cancelled, and the Olympics won’t take place when they were originally scheduled to for the first time since 1944. The decision was made on Tuesday March 30th by the OIC. There was plenty speculation that the Olympics would be postponed leading up to March 30th; however, it wasn’t official until then.
Though there is plenty of disappointment from the athletes who were looking forward to competing in the 2020 Olympics, some of the most disappointed may be the USA Rugby team. Unfortunately, after a tough last two years, the postponement of the 2020 Olympics has been the final dagger to force USA Rugby to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy. This news is unfortunate for the up and coming USA Rugby team who was looking to make a splash in the 2020 Olympics; however, since they have filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, there is an opportunity for next year since the Olympics will be postponed to Friday July 23rd through Sunday August 8th 2021.
Though the postponement of the Olympics is a downer now for athletes and fans alike, there are some upsides. For instance, if you bought tickets for this year, they would still work next year. Also, we may be in for the most exciting Olympics in history as the athletes would have one more year to prepare. Records may be broken, and the competition may be as fierce as it’s ever been. This could also hold true for sports around the world as a season off could do wonders for growth as athletes in their training and it would give them a year to recover from previous injuries. We could be watching teams from all over the globe at full strength competing against one another in all sports for the first time ever. Though COVID-19 has put a damper on the sports world at the moment, there are reasons to be optimistic for next year.
Image Source: https://tokyo2020.org/en/