Editor’s Note: Welcome MLL intern and Journalism major Katie McNulty to the platform. She has quite an interesting perspective on the 2020 MLL season, so it’s only fitting to let her tell her story.
On July 16th, I got up at 5:30 a.m. ready to take on the day. I was so excited I couldn’t even sleep. I felt like a kid waking up on Christmas morning.
Most people are probably thinking that I was headed to go on vacation, or I was visiting one of my friends. Nope. I was starting my journey to cover the 10-day Major League Lacrosse season in Annapolis, Maryland, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
As a communications intern who still had an internship, I was grateful no matter what. But, when I heard that there would be a season, I was ecstatic. It would be my first time since March that I would be able to cover live sports.
I had been working for two months putting together the perfect rosters, writing stories, working on other projects to be ready for this upcoming MLL season, so I was pumped.
At 8:30 a.m., I got in my car ready to take on my first long drive by myself. I live in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, so it was about a three-hour drive. The whole ride down, I had all the emotions. I was scared, anxious, excited, and nervous.
I thought about what it would be like to finally meet all the people in person who I had been working with since May. I thought about all the games I would get to watch and write about. But, things changed quickly. I had a gut feeling that something was going to happen, but I tried to ignore it.
I pulled up to the gate where the parking attendant directed me to go, and I got out of my car to head to the tent, where I would get my temperature checked. I wasn’t nervous about this at all, but something didn’t feel right.
I walked right up and failed my temperature check. He did it again, and it was still too high. I took a COVID test before I came down and my results were negative, so I thought to myself, ‘this has to be wrong.’ This can’t happen to me.
I took every proper precaution before I came to make sure this didn’t happen. I even spent my 20th birthday alone just to make sure I was staying safe.
When I was informed that I would have to leave, I broke down and cried. I was pissed. Don’t get me wrong, I understand how serious this virus is, and I understood why I was kicked out. COVID-19 has taken thousands of lives, and if I can help protect anyone, I will do that.
But, when you did everything you could to prepare for something, and it gets taken away from you in a second, it hurts.
I went to Walgreens, grabbed a water, wiped away my tears, and headed home for another three-hour ride, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what would have been if I just passed my temperature test. I cried the whole way home, people probably thought I just broke up with my imaginary boyfriend. To me, this was the most important thing.
I will never be the most talented or the smartest person in the room. But, what I can guarantee about me is that I will be the hardest working in the room, and I don’t quit. So when my boss called me to tell me I didn’t have to work, I told her I would take time to think about it, but I ultimately knew what I would do. I wanted to prove myself and honor my commitment to her and this league. After all, they didn’t give up on me.
I finally arrived home at 7 p.m and calmed myself down. Two hours later, I called my boss, MLL Director of Marketing Carrie Gamper, and told her I want to work. After all, I would still be covering lacrosse. It would just be in my childhood bedroom.
The next day, I said to myself, ‘I can’t control what happened.’ But, what I can control is what happens from here on out. So I called my doctor the next morning and told them I wanted a COVID test. They prescribed one to me and told me my results would be back in 48 hours.
Five days, and 120 hours later, my test came back negative. I was grateful for many reasons. Number one, I was not spreading this virus around. Secondly, I could have given up, and that would have been it. Hope was still alive with a positive result and a few days left in the MLL season.
The next morning, a week after I got sent home, I got up and drove to Annapolis again. The whole ride down, I asked myself, ‘what if this happens again?’ But I tried to remain positive. I honestly contemplated going back. I was afraid that my temperature would somehow read too high again, but I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
So on July 23rd, I arrived again, walked out of my car, took my temperature, and it was 97.8. I couldn’t remember the last time I was that excited.
When I was finally sitting in the press box, I knew all was right in my world.
Unfortunately, someone from the Chesapeake Bayhawks tested positive Friday night, which led to Saturday’s double-header getting canceled, and I was only there for three days. But, amongst the circumstance, this time I felt at peace. Why? Because I couldn’t control it. It was out of my hands.
We live in a day-to-day world, where we can’t control much. One thing you can have control of is how you react to things. I challenge all of you to bring a positive attitude every day.