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The UW Dawg Pound in a Sports-less World

Thoughts on where we go from here

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Tournament William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re a resident of...planet earth then the odds are that some important aspect of your life has changed significantly over the past few days, weeks, or months because of the spread of COVID-19. And that’s before counting anything sports-related. (Even though if you’re reading an article from this site it suggests that you value that sort of thing quite highly.)

That has certainly been true for us as well. My day job is to provide data analytics for a hospital and for the last 11 days I’ve been working within our incident command structure to ensure our leadership and front line staff have the information they need to best protect patients and staff. Admittedly we’ve encountered a lot of challenges and every part of the local healthcare structure is adjusting to change from their normal approach to meet the needs of the community in this time. But that’s why they call it an emergency

I’ve been blown away by the dedication that our staff and healthcare workers everywhere have shown in adjusting to the current situation. My role doesn’t involve direct patient contact and I can’t fathom the bravery and courage that our nurses, physicians, and other direct care staff show on a daily basis in an effort to help others. I’m so proud of the work happening around me to protect the greater Seattle area in any way possible.

Others among our staff travel frequently for their jobs which has its own inherent dangers right now. And one member of the team is currently trying to figure out how to get back in the country after the travel ban from Europe led to disruptions from an international business trip.

Still, we’re the lucky ones. Millions of Americans will experience significant financial hardship over the coming months either due to the declining stock market or the inevitable fallout from thorough social distancing. Businesses that rely on what is normally a certainty that people will regularly leave their house will either drastically reduce hours, lay off workers, or be forced to close their doors. Schools closing and the corresponding lack of child care availability places an extra burden on every family with children.

And all of that is without getting to those who actually contract this virus some of whom will be able to recover easily but others of whom will be fighting for their lives.

All of that brings us back to the surreal news in the sports world that began on Wednesday night as it was announced that Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The NBA quickly cancelled games, cascading a series of announcements as event after event went from being played with no fans to outright shutting down. UW Athletics has suspended all events including workouts and practices through at least the end of the month while the NCAA has cancelled all winter and spring championship events including March Madness.

These actions are completely unprecedented in modern times. For those that love college sports dearly there’s no time quite like March Madness. The opening two days of the tournament are two of my favorite days of the year. Sitting on my couch watching college basketball for nearly 36 straight hours while my bracket falls apart was a cherished tradition of mine even before I became involved with writing about the sport.

Sports have been the ultimate communal source of distraction for us all when the world gets too dark and scary. Now things have gotten dark enough that they too have disappeared.

Where does that leave a Husky sports blog now that Husky sports are gone for the foreseeable future?

Glad you asked. We’re not going away. Just because there will be nothing to write about in the present doesn’t preclude us from writing about the past or the future. There may not be games to report on or recruiting visits to recap but we’ll be looking for new ways to engage with Husky sports to continue providing entertaining content (provided you think we’re entertaining already).

I first became a regular reader of this blog as much because of the people as the content. Social distancing in the real world becomes a little bit easier if you can still interact with familiar faces via the web. I want our community to stay together over the coming months and will try to facilitate that however I can.

We welcome any feedback from the UWDP community right now about what you’d like to see. Have an idea for a cool retro series on a past Husky sports team? Share it. We may not have the time/ability to turn it into a reality but help us get our creativity flowing.

Bored while stuck working from home and want to write an in-depth fanpost yourself? Go for it! If you write something you’re proud of make sure to post it in the comments as sometimes we miss what comes up in the fanpost section and want to make sure it gets to the front page if it belongs there.

Obviously I would love to have all of our regular readers stop by as often as they do during the heart of football or basketball season. For a variety of reasons that’s not going to happen. But my primary wish is that everyone out there stays safe. Please follow the suggestions of your local public health office. Certain populations are at much greater risk for serious illness or death than others so even if you are someone likely to shake off the virus you could still pass it on to someone that won’t be able to do so.

Hopefully we look back at this a few years from now and laugh at how we took extra precautions for nothing. That outcome is better than the alternative. Whatever happens I’m thankful to be a part of the Husky community and know that I can count on all of us to support one another as best as possible.

Best wishes from the entire UWDP staff.