April 20, 2020
I miss watching sporting events on TV. Most years I would have been glued to the TV during March watching college basketball. Melissa is an avid Kansas fan (I graduated from K-State) and they ended the season as the overall number one seed. April was time to begin watching Major League Baseball. We are huge Royals fans and you never know, with Perez back in the lineup this could have been our year. June features the College World Series. The Razorbacks came within one dropped ball of winning it all last year and had gotten off to another good start this year. This means a lot of potential sports that I’m leaving on the table.
ESPN is a station that exclusively features sporting events and talk shows about sports. In the past I watched this channel to keep up on the breaking news around the world of sports. They have been hit hard by the lack of events. It’s not that they don’t try. NASCAR has been running virtual races where actual drivers control the video game cars. The NFL Draft is set for Thursday night through Saturday and will be covered live virtually. The station has been airing greatest games from various sports. Rather than current baseball, football or basketball, they will play a close contest between teams from five to ten years ago. The idea is I won’t remember the game even if I do remember the outcome. I don’t watch much anymore.
The various leagues are scrambling to salvage any sort of gaming for public view. They have talked of playing events before empty stadiums or quarantining the teems and support people so they could still hold the event. This is a possibility for professional sports as their revenues are driven by TV contracts. Most college programs don’t have this luxury. Local communities are kept thriving by the fans who flock to town to see the teams play. The fans support restaurants, stores, hotels, and even the vendors at the stadium. For most athletic programs the revenues and the donor dollars are generated by the fall football programs. Without football, most of the Title IX funded sports could not survive. Maybe I’ll go watch the 2008 World Curling Championship.
THOUGHTS: Times and circumstances dictate much of how I allot my time and it seems I am not the only one. Television viewing across America has skyrocketed over the last six weeks. Psychologists say it isn’t healthy to take in a steady diet of corona virus news, but the news channels seem to report nothing else. Even the uplifting reports aired are related to the pandemic. Watching sports used to be my get away from having to think about life. When I talk with older people many say they haven’t seen much of a difference in their life. They were confined even prior to the crisis, so this isn’t a big change. Maybe I should take my lead from them and rather than surfing TV for something to do I could read a book, complete a puzzle or write a story. What a novel idea. If it is possible, Stay home. Stay safe.