Whether or not you celebrate Easter, for millions of people across the United States, today is a weird day. Instead of shopping on Saturday, going to church Sunday morning, and eating a massive Easter dinner, we now shop online, worship online, and eat what we were lucky enough to get delivered.
So what does this mean in the sports world? Well, today is the anniversary of Tiger Woods' return to glory by winning the 2019 Masters. Today would have been the last day of the XFL regular season, and the NBA playoffs would have started yesterday. Instead, we have the NBA2K Tournament, which Devin Booker won, and the MLB PLayers League for MLB the Show. Gaming has risen to the forefront of the sports world, with ESPN airing 2K, MLB the Show and even League of Legends.
We have Steph Curry doing IG live videos claiming he could drop 60 on anyone in the NBA, maybe because he won’t have to back that up for a while. We have a HORSE competition between NBA, WNBA and former professional basketball players and we have the MLB and NFL providing free content on their game passes.
Personally, I have started streaming on Mixer once and a while because I simply have nothing else to do, and if I can provide a laugh or two for someone at 1AM, I will do that.
As I am writing this, ESPN is re-airing the 1997 spelling bee on TV. Something good that may come of this virus is that writers now have to search for the true story in sports. I think we all get caught up in the day to day aspect of sports and ignore the humanity aspect of every single professional athlete across professional sports. Instead of debating if LeBron or Giannis is going to be MVP, we now are looking at what players like Tom Brady and Stephen Curry are doing to help their communities during this crisis.
With the NFL Draft coming up on April 23, they will have the focus of almost the entire sports world. Joe Burrow, Chase Young and others will have their shining moment happen virtually, as opposed to the glorious stage that was prepared in Vegas. GM’s, coaches and scouts will debate selections over Zoom chats and FaceTime. Even with these oddities, I am sure NFL Network will do their best to make those 3 days special for the hundreds of young men whose dreams will come true, and will do their best to create entertaining content for the sports world who is so desperately craving something to do or watch.
About a month ago as I returned home from school, I wrote about what to do while in quarantine and while missing sports. My advice remains mostly the same. Watch some old games with a family member. Learn something new about the game you love, whether you are a journalist or a player. But most importantly, don’t lose heart. In such a trying time, normally sports are actively there to comfort us, and right now they are not. But in a time of such amazing technology, we still have sports at our fingertips. Do not forget the healing power of a dynamic basketball game, or the soothing effect of a 9 inning baseball classic.
As Ernie Banks used to say,”It’s a great day for a ballgame, let’s play two.” Well folks, it is still a great day for a ballgame, so let’s watch two, or three or four. Whatever it takes to stay positive, and whatever it takes to stay inside.