On the night of March 11th, a game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder was suddenly postponed seconds before tipoff. Fans were told to leave the stadium, and in a state of confusion, they did. Within the next half hour, it was announced that the cancellation of the game was a result of Jazz star Rudy Gobert testing positive for COVID-19. Shortly after that, commissioner Adam Silver shocked the world when he announced that the NBA would be suspending its season indefinitely.
The next 24 hours would see the country’s most prominent sports leagues follow the same pattern. The MLB called off spring training and postponed Opening Day. The NHL suspended their season. The NCAA halted all spring athletics and canceled both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. The NFL announced that both free agency and the draft would have to be conducted remotely. The MLS, NASCAR, and the now-defunct XFL followed similar procedures. Soon enough, the sports world as we knew it came to a halt.
Of course, the absence of what was such a large part of many lives has been shocking. Sports have brought us together in the best of times and provided a much-needed distraction in the worst. Beyond that, many who have built their livelihoods around sports are now suffering as a result. As a company providing sports awards to New Jersey and beyond, we can’t operate based on our typical business model.
Yet, this pandemic is so much bigger than the sports world. While it may be a professional basketball player who effectively set off a chain reaction that would indefinitely change the country’s landscape, this is about the safety of not just the athletes, but the nation as a whole.
During this time without sports, we encourage you to focus on spending time with your loved ones and finding out how you can make a difference during these difficult times. At Spike’s Trophies, we have adjusted our normal operations to help people get through these challenging times.
Our efforts have included helping people get tested, as many of our employees were able to keep their jobs by assisting the State of New York take calls for virus screening. As for what we currently have available for purchase, we are distributing face masks through our website in bulk orders for those who must be in public for essential purposes. We are also now offering social distancing circles for public centers to help people stay six feet apart and prevent the spread of this virus.
Most importantly, we encourage people to abide by social distancing guidelines and stay home whenever possible to help flatten the curve. We all miss watching the Sixers win yet another home game, and we all feel crushed that the Flyers’ potential Stanley Cup run was cut short so suddenly. We would have given anything to watch Bryce Harper drive in the winning run at the Phillies’ home opener, as well. However, if we all do our part and stay home, we will be back to witnessing these moments soon enough, and Spike’s Trophies will be back to providing Philadelphia with custom signs, corporate awards, and sports trophies before you know it.