BY NATALIE HEAVREN SPORTS EDITOR
Anyone who knows me knows I love sports. A lot.
A photo of Gillette Stadium is my lock screen on my computer. Natalie Butler is my wallpaper on my laptop. I have a drawer dedicated to sports T-shirts and way too many BreakingT shirts.
I usually spend countless hours a week watching sports, consuming sports content on Twitter and reading many sports stories a week.
Then March 11 and 12 happened.
The Rudy Gobert diagnosis was the first domino to fall and the rest followed shortly thereafter. And then before we knew it there were no live sports on TV.
The transition was … difficult.
I attended my first minor league baseball game when I was a month old and haven’t stopped watching sports since.
Well, until this pandemic hit.
In the grand scheme of things, I know sports are not the most important thing in the world. But I do miss watching sports as an escape.
Bad day? Watch some sports.
No homework? Watch some sports.
Insomnia? Watch some West Coast sports.
Until there were no sports.
And for now, I’m hanging in there, for the most part.
Aside from a few tears about Tom Brady never wearing a Patriots jersey again and the very real possibility that I may not get to watch Breanna Stewart this season, I’m all good.
I’ve taken to rewatching my favorite TV series, some of my favorite basketball games and, oddly enough, marble races.
Jelle’s Marble Runs are actually quite entertaining, and I will reluctantly admit I had watched them a couple of times pre-pandemic.
While strange in concept, there is something at least mildly entertaining in watching marbles race in different formats.
In rewatching Parks and Rec, Chuck, UMBC’s win over Virginia and Game 5 of Seattle-Phoenix from 2018, I’ve learned that while I desperately miss sports, I can function without them.
This isn’t a position I ever saw myself in, but even without sports, I’m able to continue to function, even if there are no sports to distract me while I do my homework.
In between binge-watching, I have been able to find small sports projects to keep connected to things I love.
I’ve participated in covering a simulated women’s basketball March Madness, a WNBA Historical Mock Draft and WNBA Draft coverage. It turns out that little projects and coming together around women’s basketball is only magnified in a global pandemic.
I don’t know how I’ll fare in the next few months without sports, but month one has been mostly manageable.
I suppose the key is keeping busy and keeping in contact with the people close to you. My women’s basketball family has been critical to keeping me close to sane-ish. From mock draft stories, breaking down the latest logos and memes to what’s going on in our daily lives (hint: not much), they’re there.
So while I do miss sports desperately and will celebrate their return, I’m hanging in there for now. And I hope to keep hanging in there until sports return, because they will.