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The Day the Ball Stopped Moving

By Dale Hosack

PROMPT — During COVID-19 ...

Wednesday, March 11. A day that will live in sports infamy. About 8:30 pm that night I hear the familiar ESPN Sportscenter chime from my iPad, “The NBA Season has been suspended.” What??? Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19 and this led to the suspension of all games. That was followed by the same from the NHL, spring training for baseball, and March Madness for college basketball. The world will never be the same after all the death and financial misery from this virus, but nothing has affected my life more than the shutdown of all sports. Even the PGA Tour ceased competing.

The biggest issue was what to do with all the free time I now had, a sad commentary on how I spend my evenings! I watched sports every day, went to games all the time, and had just spent a weekend in Salt Lake City to watch our Rockets play the Jazz team that was at the center of the shutdown. We were within ten feet of the guy who had just tested positive. Luckily, we were outside of the 14 day quarantine period, but that was too close for comfort.

My first solution was to go after that stack of books in my music room. Since I couldn’t watch any MLB games, the next best thing was to finish off that W.P. Kinsella collection of short stories about baseball. After that a Springsteen book, of course, and then Harlan Coben’s new novel. That’s my 29th Harlan book which ties it with 29 Springsteen concerts—a tie that I look forward to breaking. I then used a Springsteen interview recommendation to tackle Flannery O’Connor and the trilogy from Richard Ford. I’m finishing the “Drops of Cerulean” from one of my neighbors here in Houston this week.

There were still a lot of free hours in my week, so I started exploring music that I should know but don’t. I picked an artist to focus on each day starting with The Band, Emmylou Harris, and The Replacements. Sadly I had to take a break to mourn the loss of John Prine for two days. More learning with Big Star, Patty Griffin, and Gram Parsons among others. And I listened to several new releases, as well to fill up the remaining hours.

As we finish up week 9 of quarantine, I’m shocked that I have learned to live without sports. We have no idea how long this will last. What I do know is I still love to read (and write), American Aquarium has the best album of 2020, and I still don’t get Wilco!


Dale Hosack is currently the CFO of Western Container. He has worked in Finance and Accounting his whole life. Dale took time during this pandemic to take an online writing class at Reynolds Lake Oconee with Clara Silverstein. It reinvigorated his desire to write. All of Dale’s education is in accounting, but it's been great to write through quarantine. Dale lives in Houston, TX with his wife Jo. Their daughter Brittany and her husband Derek live south of the city with their grandkids, Makenna and Bryce. Sports and music are his interests—always have been—always will be.


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