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Simmons Says - How long will games continue?

Have we seen the last of Jeff Simmons on sidelines?

It’s something which kept running through my mind Wednesday night as professional leagues raced to be the first to suspend their seasons due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

First, it was the NBA suspending all games after it was found that all-star Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive. By Thursday morning, his teammate Donovan Mitchell had tested positive as well.

The MLS quickly followed suit, suspending its season as well. This comes after most of Europe decided to play its soccer games without fans late last week. The NCAA made a similar decision Wednesday, announcing all March Madness tournament games would be played without fans.

By Thursday, all Power 5 conferences had cancelled their men’s basketball tournaments, including the SEC event which had begun Wednesday in Nashville.

The NHL also halted its season Thursday, while MLB announced it would shut down spring training,

There’s no telling what else may be suspended, postponed or outright cancelled by the time this newspaper is in your hands. And that’s why I’ve been pondering what’s next for me.

It feels like it’s only a matter of time before these precautions will trickle down to school sports. The TSSAA already announced Wednesday it was looking into whether it will continue play in the state basketball championships at MTSU. 

Will spring sports be next? 

The coronavirus already had its first Warren County postponement Tuesday, when the Pioneers were scheduled to travel to Nolensville to play baseball. Since Williamson County schools were closed due to coronavirus, the game was postponed.

I think rain had a lot more to do with it honestly. After all, Williamson County schools were shut down Wednesday too and the Pioneers played. So maybe we’re still waiting for it to fully affect Warren County.

I think it inevitably will.

I talked to both local school athletic directors Wednesday and Thursday. They’re getting guidance from the TSSAA about where to go next. Everybody is in the dark right now, wondering just how widespread this sweeping cancellation of sports gets.

At the end of the day, I’m not nearly as worried about covering games as the people who are going to be affected by this outbreak. Hopefully all these preventative measures will do what they’re intended to do. 

If they do, I can go a day without hearing about the coronavirus and go back to hearing the two words that keep me working, “Play ball.”