I’ve often asked myself what life would be like if sports didn’t exist. Every time I proposed that question to myself, I came up with two answers: If sports didn’t exist, I certainly would have a lot less stress in my life.
The number of games I have watched over the years where I have wanted to rip out what little hair I have left on my head and/or been sick to my stomach is too many to count.
On the other hand, I think about the pure joy that sports have brought me and the huge impact they’ve had on my life both personally and professionally, and I can’t even imagine what life would be like without them. Unfortunately, now, I do have to imagine a world without sports, likely for the foreseeable future, and it’s incredibly weird.
I really do miss sports. As I’ve written previously, sports fans get a feeling much like being part of a team. When you’re cheering with other fans of your team, you don’t really think about your differences. You constantly see people giving high-fives or even hugs to people that they’ve never met.
Sports also give us real dreams. I think a lot of us recognize that reality TV is nowhere near as realistic as sports. Great players have bad days and not-so-great players have fantastic days. We watch because we know that the worst team can beat the best team on any given day in most leagues.
I know we’ll have all of our sports back before too long, and I understand why there’s optimism about sports coming back relatively soon.
The NBA should know their go-forward plan within the next two to four weeks.
The MLB has its sights set on a July 4 start date for the regular season, with spring training continuing back up in June.
The NHL is currently in talks to potentially resume with an expanded playoff format.
After seeing South Korean teams get back on the baseball field (that’s right, I’ve been watching South Korean baseball) and soccer teams in Germany getting back on the pitch, I believe we have a reason for hope.
Now, here’s the bad news: We’re a lot larger than those countries. It’s not as easy to get this under control in a country with over 300 million people and testing that ranks behind Belarus in the number of tests performed per million people according to statista.com.
Many University presidents have said that if students can’t get back on campus in the fall, odds are we’re not going to have College Football. Some schools like my parents’ alma mater, Central Michigan University, announced that in-class instruction would resume in the Fall. Other schools in California announced that educational instruction would remain online in the fall. I think announcing any of that right now in May is way too early to tell, as a lot can change.
One thing I’m reasonably confident of is if sports do come back, there won’t be any fans in the stadiums and arenas in the near future. That’s super weird to think about and imagine, but it’s a better option than having no sports on my TV.
I’m not going to put a wager down on if I believe sports will come back this year because much can change, as it is still evolving daily. In retrospect, it shouldn’t be our nation’s first priority. People are still getting sick and people are still dying at a rapid pace.
I want sports to come back, but I bet most people who are sick or have lost friends and loved ones aren’t very concerned right now about when they’ll be able to go to a game this summer.