I think it is possible to both understand the gravity of the current crisis we are facing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and miss sports.
Or as my friend Ryan Ruocco, play-by-play announcer for ESPN and the YES Network put it, "For all of us we understand the bigger picture here. But that doesn't mean you can't care about the things within the littler picture. We only care about sports within the context of understanding there is a much bigger foe to handle right now and that's obviously this virus that threatens lives."
Clearly sports matter not at all when it comes to public safety. No one should argue otherwise. However, there is the notion of an escape, distraction, or something to rally around and to be honest that is talking point that I was way more dismissive of until recently. Because while I have stayed informed, I'd also love to have something like the NBA to take my mind off the current circumstances and to provide the sense of community that comes with a shared experience.
Whatever happens with previously scheduled games this moment in history and sports will be forever connected. Not only because sports stopped but due to the signal it sent to many in the general public.
A sentiment Ruocco also shared, "Normally when something is going awry in the world sports is where we escape to and it's just so bizarre to not have that lane to escape to...sports sort of sprung our country into action when it comes to treating this virus with the seriousness that we needed to."
After all, when it comes to our sports fandom, part of the beauty of it is we treat something that is ultimately meaningless like it means everything.