WORCESTER- The COVID-19 pandemic has muddled all areas of life - making no exceptions for the sports industry.
Most major sporting events have been cancelled or postponed, and fans have been banned from attending any future competitions until further notice.
Local arena football team, the Massachusetts Pirates are one of many teams having to adjust on the fly due to the ongoing crisis. Opening night, originally scheduled for April 11, has been postponed until at least June, training camp will be cut short, and the Pirates will be playing without fans for potentially their entire season.
Pirates co-owner Jawad Yatim told ThisWeekInWorcester.com, “It's certainly a hit. Obviously you don't plan on preparing for a season without fans, which is very unconventional, but it’s what’s appropriate at the time. We have a responsibility to our players to find a way so they can play and continue to chase their dreams.”
Yatim added, “As much as we love our fans and love playing for our fans it’s unfortunate that they can’t be in the building, but we will certainly be on television [NESN] and will certainly be live streaming our games still. We will make sure our fans can still watch us, no doubt.”
According to Pirates quarterback Sean Brackett, a 2013 graduate of Columbia University, the pandemic is not stopping his team from being game day ready.
Bracket said, “We are trying to make the most of a tough situation. A lot of virtual meetings, a lot of film work, going through the playbook, and staying as physically active as we can from home so that whenever we get that okay from the state to start playing, we can hit the ground running and get ready to go.”
Despite having their season postponed, Pirates head coach and former New England Patriots fullback and Super Bowl champion, Patrick Pass, encourages his team, as well as the public, to keep a “winners mentality” during this time of uncertainty.
“Stay prepared so you don’t have to get prepared,” Pass said, adding to the fans and players, “See you soon.”
While the 2020 season schedule is being remade, fans can watch the Pirates new documentary Now or Never - A Season Inside the Massachusetts Pirates on Amazon Prime Video.
Photo courtesy: Alex MacDougall