Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or a casual bystander, each year, the world stops for 90 minutes to watch the biggest game in club football — El Clásico Español, a game between Spanish juggernauts Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Only this year, Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium wasn’t rocking. The teams’ 99,000 fans had to chant from home.
Irving and Neymar are similar in their diva personalities. They want all eyes on them and feed on the adulation of carrying their teams to victory. Their dribbling skills and flashy play draw crowds and their diminutive frames allow their agile, quick bodies to drift past opposing players with ease. But their lack of definitive success, mixed with their tendencies to showboat and reject teammates, make them luxury players who end up hurting their teams more than they help.
Muscle shrinkage takes three weeks to start taking effect, which could also affect the conditioning of players. Players who have been training for years can lose significant muscle mass in only a few months of quarantine.
The Houston Texans have never won a Super Bowl. Trading wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for Cardinals running back David Johnson will hurt the Texan’s chances of making the playoffs next season, let alone making it to the pinnacle of their conference.
Mandated stay-at-home orders, paired with the removal of rims from outdoor basketball courts, and closures of gyms and facilities across the country along with NCAA bans on virtual workouts, have left everyone from NBA stars like Milwaukee Bucks reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to college and high school players without a place to hone their skills and work on their bodies — which could have a drastic impact on their performance.
The reality is no one is immune to the effects of COVID-19, regardless of status or reputation. The NBA made the right choice in suspending its season moments after Gobert’s positive diagnosis was reported.
There are plenty of variables that go into MLB’s decision to open their doors again. Does the season start with empty stadiums? Are they playing in infected cities? Does the season just begin in the spring training cities?
For the casual viewer, watching grown men kick a ball into a net and earn millions of dollars is just another game. But for the die-hard fan, it’s life. And to be held in soccer purgatory until further notice is mindnumbing torture, solitary confinement — an isolation that might be the bitter pill to swallow that will get the soccer world out of this pandemic.