An Unsettled Sports Landscape Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

by Marc Narducci | Apr 8, 2020
An Unsettled Sports Landscape Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
In this time of tragedy surrounding the coronavirus, there has been so much speculation about when or if the professional sports leagues will be starting up.
The answer of course is nobody knows.
The common belief is that if sports resumes anytime soon, that the competition will be done in empty stadiums.
Even that would provide its set of challenges.
On Saturday President Trump held a conference call with commissioners of a dozen sporting leagues and associations.
According to the White House, the commissioners of the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS, WNBA, WWE (wrestling), the PGA Tour, Ultimate Fighting Championship, IndyCar, LPGA and the Breeders Cup were on the call.
This is what President Trump was quoted as saying, “I want fans back in the arenas by whenever we’re ready,” he said. “As soon as we can, obviously.”
Of course that comes with a caveat, as soon as they can, as long as things are safe. How long will that be?
While it might seem to be a low priority to get sports back when others are dying daily due to this pandemic, it’s important that all parts of society return.
It’s not just the fun and games and the diversion that sports provides us, but it is also that the leagues provides so many jobs.
It’s much more than the players, coaches and front office executives. There are so many workers below the and also so many others who aren’t employed by the teams, but also depend on the sporting events for income, such as the arena or stadium workers, the vendors.
The other thing is the return of sports would be a major morale booster. This is a sports-crazed nation and we have all found how much live sports is being missed.
Again, keep this in context with the bigger picture and that there are a lot of worse issues than not having games to watch, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t left a major void in our lives.
Be honest, watching old games on the various networks, may have been interesting in the beginning, but at this point, it is not filling the purpose for most people.
Here’s one thing you can book – beginning April 19, ESPN will begin airing a 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan’ final championship season with the Chicago Bulls.
It was originally supposed to air beginning in June, but so many sports fans wrote to ESPN, requesting that it be moved up to give them something to look forward to.
ESPN will air two parts on five successive Sundays.
Here is a prediction that the series will attract huge ratings. This kind of a compelling story would have attracted a big audience even if sports were being played, but now that they aren’t, ESPN should own the day when this series is airing.
What this pandemic has shown is that sports are more integral in our lives than we ever thought.
A return of the games would be a return to normalcy.
That seems to be a long way off.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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