Three months ago, legions of Seton Hall fans could be together, cheer together and even cope together after devastating losses. But in the blink of an eye, the Big East tournament and perhaps the best chance Seton Hall may have had at making a deep run in the NCAA tournament were gone.
The sudden change from the anticipation of prime-time sports to a bizarre, dystopian reality where almost no sports are taking place has affected loyal fans, including Seton Hall students. Graduating seniors in the class of 2020 and students returning next year have felt the loss of both professional and college sports at the University.
Rising seniors Mike Pardal and Carina Castagna said they were looking forward to going to spring sporting events at Seton Hall before the season abruptly got canceled.
“I was actually looking forward to watching a baseball game at the new stadium and a softball game,” Pardal said. “When I found out all the sports were canceled, I was very disappointed because I really wanted to watch a baseball game. Like, that was my main priority this year.”
“I was looking forward to the baseball season, especially because they were just rebuilding the stadium,” Castagna said. “Every commute to Seton Hall I would get stuck behind a sandbag truck where they were loading in supplies. So, after making me late to some of my classes, I was at least hoping to go sit in the stands [of the newly renovated Owen T. Carroll Field].”
“I wanted to go [to a baseball game] but it wasn’t something I was actively planning,” Joe Fox, a graduate from the class of 2020, said. “If I were free one day and there was a baseball game, I’d go watch the baseball game.”
For Fox and many other students, the loss of the Big East and NCAA tournaments was a crushing blow. Fox had tickets to the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden and said that this year “felt really special in the regular season.”
“I think they really could’ve done some damage in the Big East Tournament and March Madness,” Fox said.
Rising senior Joe Inneo added that the loss of March Madness was “disappointing, especially considering how well we were projected to do.” Brad Shumer, another rising senior, said, “It was definitely disappointing because I think the team had a good chance to go on a bit of a run.”
The lack of sports has left a void for fans across the nation. It is one that has been filled by reading, Netflix, video games and countless other activities, but the continued uncertainty as to what sports will look like in the fall on all levels is keeping fans anxious.
Fans like Fox, however, are also able to find a silver lining when reminiscing about Seton Hall’s athletic accomplishments over the past year.
Fox said, “Instead of looking at it as a what-if, I want to be appreciative of what happened and the memories I took away from it. I was disappointed at first, but I’m thankful that we got to experience as much as we did this year.”
Matthew Collins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.