Where am I? What day is it? What on Earth is going on? Being a sports fan during these Days of Covid can be a disquieting experience. Like you entered a coma after the Super Bowl and suddenly woke up to a completely foreign reality that makes no sense at all.
“I see the baseball season just started. It must be mid-April and freezing.”
Well, no, it’s August and 95 degrees.
And by the way, as of August 8, the Yankees had played 15 games and the Cardinals had played 5.
The Miami Marlins are 7-3 and the Orioles are 7-7.
“Have they been transferred to the Cape Cod League or College’s Big-10 or something?”
No. Oh, and Yastrzemski is one of the 5 best hitters in baseball right now.
“Yaz? The Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski? Was my coma a time machine and it’s now 1967?
No, his grandson Mike. Plays Right Field for the Giants.
Watching baseball has certainly been weird. No fans, but there are cardboard cut-outs of fans in some of the seats. Trying to catch a glimpse of an inside joke cut-out (the dead guy from Weekend at Bernie’s made an appearance recently) in the crowd is like hunting for Easter Eggs in a Marvel movie. We have seen fake high-fives, socially-distanced walk-off celebrations, and a number of new rules like the Universal DH, 7-inning double-headers and a new extra-inning plan where each team starts with a runner on 2nd. For fans of the most tradition-heavy of American big-time sports, it’s amazing to see so many changes happening in such a short time period.
But there are NBA and NHL games to watch tonight, so you can enjoy those.
“I’m sorry, didn’t the NBA and NHL end in June?”
Afraid not. Hockey just started the playoffs, and pro basketball starts its second season August 17. The NBA Finals begin on September 30.
“Can they even PLAY hockey in the Summer? Doesn’t the ice melt?”
Not really, no. You ARE aware that the NHL plays indoors, right?
Watching the NBA is even weirder than watching baseball – the emptiness of the arena makes it seem like a pick-up game in a high school gym. The players all have social justice messages on the backs of their jerseys, and oh, by the way, only 22 teams were even invited into the bubble to play out the rest of the season. The Lakers were 11-2 in their last 13 games before COVID struck, and are 1-4 in Bubble Land. Anyone who thinks they know what will happen in the playoffs, or if the season will even be completed, is kidding themselves. As for the other bubble sport, well, most of us from the U.S. of A. didn’t follow a lot of what goes on in the NHL anyway, but this season’s playoff format is a totally new design. The league is running a 24 team tournament, all in Canada (Toronto and Edmonton to be specific). I would explain the format in detail, but I really don’t understand it.
Collin Morikawa just won golf’s PGA Championship.
“Ok, well that makes sense, it’s usually played in August. I’ve never heard of Collin Morikawa, but whatever. Who won the Masters this year?”
The Masters hasn’t been played yet, It’s November this year.
“WHAT????? Are the azaleas at Augusta National still in bloom?”
I’m not a horticulturist, but I doubt it.
Golf feels fairly normal. Sure, there are no crowds, but they’re supposed to be quiet most of the time anyway. The schedule is in total disarray, and the Ryder Cup was cancelled, but the back 9 on Sunday of a Major still feels like the back 9 on Sunday of a Major. And since each tournament is its own little universe, there aren’t the same problems the major team sports are going through due to the inherent unfairness of the shortened season. All in all, golf is doing OK.
“Who won Wimbledon?”
In 1980? Bjorn Borg. Beat McEnroe in 5 sets. The 4th set tie-breaker was amazing, you should watch it on Youtube.
“No, genius, this year.”
No Wimbledon this year. And many of the top players have already withdrawn from the US Open.
You would think tennis would be in the same position as golf – the crowds don’t generally feel like a critical part of the action (except maybe at the US Open), and tennis is one of the few sports that practices excellent social distancing by its very set-up and rules. But with no Wimbledon, and maybe no US Open (at BEST a lessened US Open), the entire 2020 season feels like a washout.
By the way, there was no NCAA Basketball tournament played (no Spring college sports of any kind really), no Boston Marathon, and no Summer Olympics. And college football is a decent bet to get completely 86’ed.
”OK, I’m going back to sleep. Wake me in 2021.”
Might want to wait until 2022. Just sayin.’
Commercial Real Estate Broker/Sports Fan
Staff writer at Six Feet Apart, commercial real estate broker for CBRE, Inc., and most importantly, a father of two.