Houston Sports: Gauging the latest effects amid the coronavirus pandemic

Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

With the coronavirus taking shape, leagues are suspending their operations for the time being. What’s the latest effect on Houston Sports? Let’s look.

With the NBA suspending their season because of coronavirus and MLB on the cusp of doing the same thing, Houston sports fans will have to wait out the possibility of opportunities to prove themselves to the sports world. While the decision is the right one, it makes fears of a championship window being closed faster than before.

Obviously, we’re in a very difficult spot right now in this world, let alone Houston sports. No matter how much we want to deny or wish it wasn’t happening, the reality is sports are being postponed. This isn’t to say that the season will end as it stands right now because the hope is that all leagues will resume and have the opportunity for teams to compete in playoff-like atmospheres until each team has a champion.

For right now, with the NBA announcing two players contracting the virus, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, they had to suspend the season for now. It’s a tough pill to take since we know the Rockets are among the teams in contention for a championship despite their small-ball lineup.

But health and safety is more important.

It’s not just the NBA. The NHL has suspended its season today. College basketball has canceled their conference tournaments. Even the Houston Rodeo has decided to shut down for the year.

The MLB recently announced they would suspend Opening Day for two weeks as well while the NFL might be plagued with early workouts being postponed. The XFL, WNBA, and college baseball are also on high alert as well.

I am in agreement with the decision to put on hold the seasons until the crisis resolves itself. I also feel and hope that all of this is temporary and that we can resume in a few weeks. I don’t mind sports being suspended for a week or two because of a crisis. When 9/11 happened, sports were delayed a week as families grieved for the victims in the attacks. Natural disasters have brought postponement of games for a short time. I can live with a week or two of no sports.

However, Houston sports fans, we’re talking about a health issue that has suddenly emerged as the Bubonic Plague of this century. This could potentially lead to a long postponement and I don’t think any of us can live with that. Not just because we want some entertainment in our lives for the workweek. But because of the opportunity to prove ourselves in our sports.

You have Vince Carter, who is in his 22nd and final season tweeting this out:


Then, you probably have your trolls trying to take claim of a championship that they haven’t earned yet:

Obviously, the Milwaukee Bucks have the best record in the NBA right now. But even they know they’ll have to prove themselves in the NBA playoffs should they happen.

In college basketball, Baylor University held the No. 1 ranking for the longest time this season until they lost to Kansas. With their conference tournament not happening and the NCAA Tournament being cancelled, Baylor’s chance of proving that they were the best team in college basketball all season long in a one-and-done elimination tournament will be thwarted off, at least for this season.

Even Duke and Kansas, two respected college programs have suspended their athletic activities for now. The Ivy League has also suspended their athletic seasons, which has left their athletes upset.

But where does that leave our Houston sports teams? Right now, all focus is for them to get healthy and wait and see where the leagues head. What troubles me is that we have championship potential with each of our sports teams and yet, they can’t play because of the health crisis. They can’t prove themselves right now.

With the Rockets, James Harden and Russell Westbrook teamed up to win a championship. Yet, they’re still doubted by the naysayers. They want to win a championship and prove they could get it done as a pair. But they can’t now because the NBA is in limbo.

If anything, should the season resume in a few weeks, they’ll have a few games to get set for a playoff run, which might be madness considering teams were either hot or cold until this point and now, they will be on equal ground with a short time to determine their playoff fate.

In their first season of a new league, the Houston Roughnecks are the only undefeated team left. They could be the inaugural champions with the start they have had. P.J. Walker is the MVP of the league right now and I can’t wait to see a Roughnecks’ game. I’m hoping to be there next weekend or soon.

Yet, I could be waiting until next year if the decision comes to stop the season for now because of the virus.

Then, you have the Astros. They got a championship-caliber team. But, they also got a microscope on them tightly since we all know what happened. They want to prove that they can win another title without cheating and they almost did so last year. With a new manager and players that are nearing the end of their contracts, the Astros are feeling like the window of opportunity is slowing down a bit. To shut up the naysayers, they have to win it all and I think they can and will again.

But right now, they probably won’t be able to because MLB is delaying the opening day schedule. So instead of 162 games, we’re talking about, I don’t know, 120-140 games? The last time MLB had that happened was in 1995 when after a strike ended the 1994 season, they had to wait until late April to start their season.

Speaking of 1994, that was supposed to be the year of the Montreal Expos. They were the best team all season long and chances were they would’ve won the World Series that year. But because the strike ended the ’94 season early, there was no chance of them to go through the

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playoffs and win it all even if they could’ve. That was one of the best chances the Expos had of winning a title. Of course, that franchise no longer has to worry about waiting since they were the ones who defeated us in seven games as the Washington Nationals.

It’s a bittersweet world we live in now. We want everyone to be safe and healthy while not affected by the virus. But, it also stinks because teams that are building momentum to potentially win are possibly getting an unfair reason why they couldn’t win.

It does scare me as a fan that the window of opportunity might be closing in quicker than we think. I still think the season will resume this year. But only after it is deemed safe to play.

I know this sounds like another one of my rants. But I do agree with the decision and can only wait for the seasons to resume. In the meantime, even if the reaction is an overreaction, we do need to take this seriously and stay safe until all of this passes. I don’t know when or how this will end, but safety and health are the most important thing for us Houston sports fans right now.

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Let’s keep the faith that the season will continue on in 2020. Go Rockets, Astros, Roughnecks, Dynamo, Texans, and Dash.