For sports fans all over the country, basketball, in particular, we all know that March Madness is one of the best moments in history each year. But due to the pandemic and a cancellation last year, it won’t ever be the same.
COVID Changed March Madness Forever
Due to COVID-19, the sports world was left without the excitement of March Madness. People were getting sick, dying, and much more turmoil. But now with the new vaccine happening and the world starting to open back up slowly, we’ll see a March Madness this year. However, as far as the essence and the whole experience of the event, there’ll be a ton missing.
One of the things that make the tournament so special is the fans. The entire student body in the stands as a #16 seed faces the top team in the country just gives a feel. The feel of excitement with each basket as crowds erupt. School bands sit in their respective section playing instruments during timeouts make it a spectacle. Famous alumni sit in the stands and cheer for their former team also brings more money to the school. And don’t get me started on buzzer beaters and upsets that occur. Whenever a freshman knocks down a shot right before the buzzer hits makes the crowd go insane. But sadly, there will be little to no crowds and that’s going to be missed. And it’s highly doubtful you’ll see any students in the crowds.
Nomore Filled Arenas
Another issue is for the fans who never step foot in the arena but watch from bars and with friends. This pandemic has prevented people in a lot of cities from having a beer and watching sports in their local bars. One of the best parts of March Madness is how it brings people together to watch basketball. People who know nothing about basketball come together just to enjoy each other’s company. And even if places did open back up 100% it will never be the same feeling as before. More people will be watching from the comfort of their own home by themselves or in small groups.
For Some Kids It’s Their Lost Shot And Moment At This Level Notoriety
I feel especially sad for the kids who’ve played and worked hard to make it to the tournament. Make no mistake, it’s an accomplishment to make it with fans or not. But they won’t get to experience just how enormous the tournament is. ESPN stops everything just to cover it. Players go from about to be accountants after college to NBA picks and becoming millionaires. March Madness changes lives forever. Duncan Robinson, Steph Curry, Shabazz Napier, and tons of other players elevated their stock with their performance. Small schools get to shine in the spotlight after being dominant in their conference but not being noticed.
March Madness happening this year is something worth celebrating. It’s a huge step forward from not having one at all last year. But let’s be honest, it won’t be the same as we’re accustomed to. There was a culture surrounding this national tournament, now 90% of us have to experience it from our homes.