Lamenting the temporary loss of various sports leagues and forms of entertainment may, to some, feel inconsiderate given the severity of the situation we currently find ourselves in. After all, when hundreds of thousands are falling ill and thousands are dying due to a pandemic, the temporary loss of a sports league is relatively unimportant.
However, that does not make one selfish or a bad person for being upset over such a loss. For many of us, myself included, sports (baseball in particular) are not simply a hobby. Whether or not we consciously realized this before, the upheaval of our everyday lives is revealing that sports have doubled as an escape. Several fellow baseball fans that I have been talking to recently are echoing a similar sentiment. The past few weeks have been stressful and chaotic, and spending three hours each day watching a baseball game would be the perfect way to unwind and feel normal.
The truth, however, is that baseball operated in this way for many of us even before this pandemic. The stress of everyday life was temporarily forgotten whenever a game was on. This is something that I have always generally known, but not consciously considered each time I watched a game.
Thus, how can we cope with losing baseball when baseball itself is an ideal coping mechanism? It is certainly not easy. I am sure that everyone is dealing with such a quandary at the moment, whether it pertains to baseball in a literal sense or another soothing ritual or activity that has suddenly been taken away.
And if I may get a little more specific for a minute, it’s almost like a double gut punch for White Sox fans. Not only did we lose baseball like everyone else, but the collective excitement from fans for the upcoming season was palpable and unrivaled over the past decade. The 2020 team was finally expected to be a winner stacked with young, talented, and likable players. On the bright side, we should still get some form of a 2020 season, with a substantial increase in the odds of a playoff berth (both due to the decrease in total games and the rumored expansion in playoff teams). However, it undoubtedly will not be what fans had in mind.
In the meantime, there is no simple solution to our shared problem. We can channel our energy into hobbies/distractions that are readily available, but this is understandably inadequate. Rather than sufficiently working as a distraction, many of these activities have only made me miss baseball even more. So, at the very least, I hope that when baseball and other activities that are on hiatus return, we can all welcome them with a greater appreciation for what they truly mean to us. Whether baseball is your escape, a way of meeting new people, a symbol of summer, a benchmark for life events and milestones, just a game, or (more likely) some combination of many factors, we can at least take solace in knowing that it will be back.
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