Day 1: Wednesday, March 11, 2020

By Alex Strouf (@alex_strouf)

The following blog may contain strong language or NSFW* content.

* – we’re not at work. we should probably rethink that acronym.

Day One

2:56PM CDT: New email from Chancellor Bernie Patterson.

“Dear students, faculty and staff,

With increased uncertainties around the spread of the coronavirus, UW-Stevens Point is extending spring break by one week. Classes will resume March 30, at which point we will suspend in-person classes and shift to alternative delivery methods. This applies to all three UW-Stevens Point campuses and field stations.”

Oh, shit. 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) had already announced that its largest money-grab on the calendar year, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament–better known as March Madness–would be played without fans. Several member conferences were playing their conference tournaments with a limited number of fans, including the Mid-American Conference’s women’s basketball tournament. In fact, when I received that email, Eastern Michigan was about to tip-off against Ball State University.


Jarin Matheny is a Ball State University student and apart of Ball State Sports Link (BSSL), one of the nation’s premier sportscasting colleges. Matheny serves as the radio play-by-play broadcaster for BSSL and was awarded as the 2019 Broadcaster of the Year of the Northwoods League for his work with the Green Bay Booyah. Matheny travelled with Ball State’s squad from Muncie, Ind. to Cleveland, Ohio to call the Cardinals game against the EMU Eagles at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The game went on as continued, though with less than 250 people in the arena that fits just short of 20,000.

Each Wednesday night, I host Sports Beat on 90FM at 6PM CDT. With a 3PM CDT tipoff, the game would just be over and press conferences would hopefully be wrapped up so Jarin could join my show at 6:10PM.

We got him at 6:12.

LISTEN: Jarin Matheny on Near-Empty Arena, MAC Tournament

“Things are going to get a little weirder as this year goes on. I don’t know, I don’t know what to think.” said Matheny.

None of us did.

Photo Courtesy of Ball State Sports Link (Twitter/@BSUSportsLink)

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