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Sports journalism in the midst of a pandemic

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As a sports editor for a local newspaper, I realize there won’t be a lot of sports news as COVID-19 spreads across the world.

High school athletics have been postponed for at least a few weeks and therefore there won’t be any games to cover. As a result, you may find the sports section of The Wake Weekly a little shorter in upcoming editions.

I’ll be working instead on highlighting affects of the pandemic on schools, featuring athletes who are optimistic for the future, and looking ahead to games that — hopefully — will play out later this year.

For now, I’ll just fill you in on some of big sports news going on at the professional level.

I think the biggest headline to come out of this week is Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots and going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is one of those things that no one really saw coming.

Most of us probably imagined Brady going off into the sunset as a lifetime Patriot. However, the 42-year-old still believes he can get the job done with a different squad.

Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champion, 14-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All-Pro and three-time MVP. Now he will play for a team that has not made the playoffs since 2007. It will be interesting to see how things play out.

This also makes things a little awkward for current Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston. The former No. 1 overall pick became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 30 TDs and 30 picks in the same season. Those 30 interceptions were also first in the league. Looks like Winston will have to find another home in 2020.

Another big news story is that NBA superstar Kevin Durant, along with three other Brooklyn Nets players, were tested positive for the coronavirus.

It’s safe that say that Durant has not had a great start to his tenure with the Nets. He hasn’t played a single game for Brooklyn due to his offseason injury. He was expected to play earlier this month, but then several players were tested positive for COVID-19, which completely shut down the NBA season.

Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was the first player to be tested positive for the coronavirus. Then his teammate, Donovan Mitchell, also contracted the disease. Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons also recently tested positive for COVID-19, making it seven total NBA players who have the coronavirus.

I personally hope all of them receive a fast recovery and get well soon. We’re all ready for sports to come back. Life just seems like it’s missing something without witnessing fierce competition between talented athletes.

I hope COVID-19 can be contained soon. Please do what you can to stay safe and healthy during this time. As always, I will keep you up to date with the latest news in sports.


Marty Simpkins is the sports editor of The Wake Weekly. He can be reached at 919-424-1779 or marty@wakeweekly.com.

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