The SEC Tournament Shows Proof of Progress During Pandemic
One year ago today, the Alabama Crimson Tide was set to take on the Tennessee Vols in the Tide's opening game of the SEC Tournament in Nashville. It would be the beginning of the Tide's post season and a deep run was the Tide's only hope in making the NCAA Tournament in head coach Nate Oats' first season.
Unfortunately with less than an hour until tip-off, the SEC made the decision to cancel the remainder of the tournament. No one knew what would happen next. Would we still have an NCAA Tournament? What about the rest of the winter sports facing championship season? Can the spring sports continue? And likely the biggest question, will this affect football season?
What followed next was four months of no sporting events in the country. For the first time in my lifetime the NCAA Tournament was canceled, Major League Baseball delayed its season and the NFL Draft was even altered to a virtual event. All sports shut down as the nation was forced to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
One year later the SEC Tournament is back in full swing in Nashville, we crowned Alabama the 2020 CFP National Champions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Super Bowl Champions. College athletes were given eligibility back due to missed time and the sports world is returning to a sense of normalcy.
During the pandemic we learned the power sports holds over this nation as a distractor from the day-to-day troubles of life. When baseball returned in July it provided a bit of energy for sports fans everywhere and even more so when college football returned in September.
Sports serve as a thermometer for the country's well being. The SEC Tournament is in full swing one year after it was cancelled due to COVID-19 showing the country that we are on the other side of the virus. Vaccinations are being distributed nation-wide, cases are dropping by the day and life is returning back to normal.
The pandemic is not over as many are still battling COVID-19 in their own lives and as a nation the need for caution is still there, but the return of sports and the return of competition shows that the nation is healing and we are on way back to normal life.