Dear COVID-19, give us back our sports

Dear COVID-19, give us back our sports

Gracie Thies, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As someone that works in sports, I have personally been victimized by COVID-19. Money is hard to find and there’s not much that I can do to help the situation. One thing I’ve come to terms with is that everyone is in the same boat and we’re all going through it, especially those within the Marian community.  

Like most people, Marian University Athletic Director Jason Bartelt has been adjusting to his new work environment. “It’s been extremely difficult hearing of the stories from our coaches about letting their student-athletes know about the cancellation of their seasons,” says Bartelt. 

It’s hard to think about everyone’s season coming to an end so abruptly. Bartelt says with all the news, “I felt like I was in a depressed state for about a week or two and didn’t know what to do or how to react.” For now, Marian University athletics are all done for the season and hope to resume all sports starting in the fall. 

Bartelt has one short message to share with the Marian Community. “In times like this, it really makes you stop and think how fortunate you are with the type of people you work with. I am grateful for the university administration and their leadership during this time as well as the athletic department staff for their understanding and guidance towards our student-athletes. I’d also like to thank all of our spring athletes for their understanding and hope we can make this as right as we can for them, given the unfortunate circumstances.” 

Tyler VanRossum, a senior at Marian University and Milwaukee Bucks Live Entertainment & Activation Intern, is witnessing much of the difficulty in working from home in professional sports. All professional sports suspended their seasons and expect to return in the near future.  

The Milwaukee Bucks put their employees on hold, “however, the majority of us are working from home to keep up on things. I do not like working from home as much because a lot of what we do is hands-on, you can only plan so much before taking action,” says VanRossum. 

Much of the work done within professional sports revolves around the games that are played throughout the year. Without that, it’s more of preparing for what’s to come and making adjustments to the schedules that will be released at a later time.  

Marian University Alum & Sports Information Graduate Assistant at Lakeland University Bryan Lidtke has experienced many different roles within sports, but is now getting a master’s degree. Lidtke says among the adjustments he’s had to make are “shifting my focus more towards historical and statistical projects instead of working individual games. Instead of putting together programs, recording stats, or announcing games, I’m working on long-range projects, updating all-time stats and records for each sport.  

Lidtke, like most individuals, thinks working from home makes communication much more complicated than if he were to be in the office. “Instead of being able to pop into my boss’s office with any questions, I have to email or call him which has slowed down my work,” said Lidtke. 

The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders are a team that has a unique advantage to all the craziness in sports right now, their season doesn’t start until May 26th. Chris Ward, the General Manager of the Dock Spiders, says the office has only had to make a few minor changes to the way they conduct business on a regular basis. 

We’ve closed our office until April 6th to comply with social distancing orders. Our front office has adjusted by utilizing Microsoft Teams to stay in touch and meet every couple of days to make sure we’re getting everything done to prepare for the season,” says Ward.  

Baseball season is an exciting time for the Fondy Faithful and “the Dock Spiders Organization hopes that everyone is staying healthy and safe. We look forward to everything getting back to normal and seeing everyone this summer,” says Ward.  

We can only hope that sports will once again start back up and fill one of the missing pieces in our everyday lives. Just like the rest of the crew, my life became a little less exciting with the absence of going to work and gearing up for the season. COVID-19 has made the littlest things seem much more important.  

To the sports fans and athletes, hang tight. Normal will return soon and we can all enjoy the games we’ve been waiting too long for. And man, will it be worth the wait.