Last spring was my first semester of college, and up to that point, I was having the best time in my life. I had finally found something that made me genuinely happy: school. Then, COVID-19 happened.
For a while, I struggled with finding happiness anywhere. Everything had changed. That was until the one thing I loved almost more than anything didn’t change: sports.
Sports found every way possible to continue. Some of them started late or had to take breaks, but they powered through and helped get me through a pandemic.
Health officials encouraged everyone to stay at home as much as possible to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, which turned out to be in my favor as I got to stay home and watch more sports than I have in the past.
During the pandemic, I got to see my childhood idol, Lebron James, win his fourth NBA Championship. It was a surreal moment for me because I didn’t think that the Los Angeles Lakers were good enough to win the championship. But they proved me wrong. I sure am glad that they did.
Next, I got to see my favorite sports team, the Atlanta Braves, make a deep postseason run. They didn’t quite get to the World Series, and lost in the most Atlanta-sports way possible — by blowing a 3-1 series lead against the eventual World Series champions. All was good at the end of the season because I got to see one of my favorite players, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, finally win a World Series ring.
I got to see my favorite college football team, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, play 10 games. I became optimistic after they beat the Florida State Seminoles in their first game of the year, but that quickly went south and they ended up going 3-6 at the end of the season. At season’s end, I was happy to watch my sister-in-law post plenty of statuses on Facebook after the Alabama Crimson Tide won yet another National Championship.
Then I got to watch a full season of NFL football, in which my favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons, got to play all 16 games on time. It wasn’t pretty watching the Falcons go 4-12, but I loved every minute of it just because I was happy that they even had a season.
Lastly, I am currently getting to see both the Georgia Highlands men and women’s basketball teams have great success at the beginning of their season. I got back to being able to do what I love the most: taking pictures of their games and writing about how great they are.
Although scheduling conflicts have interrupted me being able to attend the Georgia Highlands baseball and softball games, I still keep up with their games to see if they win or not. Knowing they can have a season brings a smile to my face.
Day after day there was sports coverage, whether it was of an actual game or brand new stories coming out. When I needed someone there the most, sports welcomed me with open arms.