Sanning: Tennessee seniors deserved much better ending

Cory Sanning

I’m not going to sit here and try to sugarcoat it. The last few days have been rough, really rough. Not only for the sporting world, but for society as a whole.

As sports fans, we no longer get our March Madness. No Cinderella story, no heart-stopping moments, no national champion.

It’s as if the whole world has stopped turning, and no, I’m not talking about the Alan Jackson song.

What has been on my mind most lately, however, has not been the idea that I won’t get to watch any games for the foreseeable future. Or even if I don’t get to say goodbye to Neyland Stadium properly as a student.

It’s the idea that seniors such as Jordan Bowden and Lou Brown won’t get to finish their careers off the right way.

Just what do I mean by that?

Like all college students, we dream of walking across that stage in our caps and gowns one day.

As a college athlete, you too aspire to reach that day, but you also seek to bask in the glory of the sport that you love for at least one final time.

Because for many of them, that’s the final moment in their lives in which they’ll be playing the sport that they love, the sport that they’ve dedicated their entire lives to.

Am I saying that this is the end for the likes of Bowden, Brown and Kam Harris? Absolutely not.

No matter what avenue they take next, I’m sure they’ll be incredible successful in their next phases of life.

But it just doesn’t seem right, it doesn’t seem real that they’ve played their final games in Tennessee orange.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has served as a wake up call for us all, and not one that prompts individuals to stock up on toilet paper as if the apocalypse were near.

No, the world is not ending anytime soon, but it’s our job as a society to pick up the pieces.

If only we were able to puzzle together a way to send these seniors out on the right note. As a senior myself, I can’t imagine the pain I’ll feel if I don’t get to participate in my commencement ceremony.

When you work your entire life for something and it gets ripped away from you at fingers length, it’s painful.

Words can’t describe the uncertainty that we’re all feeling, but I can only imagine how these athletes feel.

A local kid from just 14 miles up the road, Bowden dreamed of playing for the Vols growing up. He achieved that goal, but to not be able to conclude this chapter how he envisioned is an eye-opening thought.

Not in a good way, either.

As we continue to fight this disease, it’s time that we lean on each other and rely on our strengths as individuals. 

Because if sports can bring us all together on a national scale, there’s no reason that a pandemic can’t, either. 

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