Pauly

The Sports Impact of COVID-19

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So, how much have folks missed sports?  The shutting down came right before my favorite off-field/court event (selection sunday) and my favorite on-field/court event(s) (NCAA tournament).  I was supposed to be in St. Louis last weekend visiting an MLB park for the first time.  An I live about 10 light-rail stops from my MLB team’s park (and like to go about 10 times a year).

 

My gosh, I miss sports...a little.  Much less than I thought I would when the current scenario started to look like a possibility.  Losing my own teams and their constant bungling has offset some of the stress of the situation (something I need to re-examine about myself). And watching games with no rooting interest?  Turns out most of it just passes time.  It’s not to say that I would not have enjoyed, say, the Final Four.  But I’m certainly not mourning a loss in my life.

 

Eventually I will miss going to games (and live music).  But general televised sports?  I don’t know.

 

And if there are a lot of fans like me, that might be a bad sign for the leagues.


Edit: I know not being a sports fan can almost be a badge of honor around here...but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with missing sports and I would be interested in hearing from those that do.

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I mostly miss going to sports.  I have had tickets for 20 Phillies games this season, and miss meeting up with my friends and killing time at the park once or twice a week.  As far as TV, I don't really "watch" anything other than NFL games, but I do like having baseball on in the background, whether TV or radio, while I'm doing other things, so there's definitely a gap there too.  

 

 

 

It's kind of a catch-22 - I care now, when the circumstances are keeping me inside with nothing else to do and sports are prohibited, but if the situation improved to where they could bring sports back, I probably wouldn't care because it's summer and I'd be doing a million other things.

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I miss sports and sure there is void, but for a long time, I felt like I don't NEED sports and don't take it as seriously as I once did. We (society) place sports and athletes far too high in priority in life where we should look at the doctors, nurses, teachers etc. with far more respect. 

People like to talk about sports as "needing an escape". We don't need "escapes". We need food, shelter, overall health. 

 

 

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As a sports fan, this sucks a big fat one.

 

Right now, I'd be talking about (or complaining) about the Mariners and how they're doing or talking about one of the other sports out there. Now? I got nothing.

 

Yes, there are other things out there. But, this hurts my psyche a lot and the idea that 'normal' won't be back until November?!? There's no way in hell that will happen.

 

*sigh*

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I miss sports in the sense that I miss having something to casually watch on TV whenever I had the time, which admittedly was rare. Sports are no longer as important in my life as they once were when I was younger, so not having sports to watch hasn’t really affected me too much.
 

However, this answer might change slightly when the NFL starts postponing/canceling games. The Cowboys are the only team that I make an effort to watch consistently.
 

I miss playing sports tremendously though. I’m part of a large group of people/friends who played basketball almost everyday. Not having that has been way more difficult than I anticipated. 

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I wonder if one of the silver linings will be that sports gets lowered a few notches in many people's priorities, which over time (theoretically) would reduce the amount of money that's put into the system, resulting in lower rights fees, lower salaries, lower prices, and less corruption at the college level.  I mean... it would probably take being without sports for a full year before some people are weened off it enough, but at least what I'm hearing locally seems pretty positive.  I was expecting SPORTS fans to be like "this is silly, get them boys back out there and open the damned stadiums, I'm no coward, I ain't afraid of no flu", but it's not like that at all.  Not even close.

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I still think we'll see how little sports matter when it comes to football season.

 

This was the best NBA in years and years and the first without a presumptive favorite since the Heatles. I'm bummed it might get lost, especially because it really felt like the year for the Lakers and LeBron.

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Not a sport but "sports entertainment"

 

https://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe/2020/4/11/21217775/wwe-confirms-talent-tested-positive-covid-19

 

Quote

"We have just been notified that (name redacted) was diagnosed with COVID-19. WWE doctors spoke with (redacted) this morning and reported (they) last had contact with anyone at WWE on March 26 at the Performance Center. As you know, (redacted) is not an in-ring performer and we believe this matter is low-risk to you per the following chronology:”

The memo stated that the person infected did provide their consent to share their name and status, noting that they’re feeling much better. However, for the privacy of said person, we’ll summarize the next paragraph in saying that the person tested positive for COVID-19 after they and their roommate became symptomatic.

The memo continued:

“Those of you who were potentially exposed would be cleared for travel by the evening of Thursday, April 9 at the latest, since the last possible exposure to any WWE talent personnel should have been at least 14 days prior.”

It closed with Paul Levesque (Triple H) signing off.

 

“A WWE employee has tested positive for COVID-19. We believe this matter is low risk to WWE talent and staff, as the individual and a roommate became symptomatic in the days following exposure to two people working in acute health care on the evening of March 26, after WWE’s TV production on a closed set was already complete. The employee had no contact with anyone from WWE since being exposed to those two individuals, is doing well, and made a complete recovery.”

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While I am terribly disappointed at the premature termination of the XFL season and the likely cancellation of the AUDL season, these losses are greatly mitigated by the surfeit of past games available online.

 

I posted my collection of baseball playlists on page 22 of this thread. That collection alone could keep a fan busy for the rest of his or her life; and it does not even include playlists for football or basketball.

 

Delving into these games is great fun, whether it's to reawaken memories of childhood or to go back to before your time. Hearing Mel Allen and Red Barber in their primes on the radio is surely a thrill for any fan, and gives us an understanding of how baseball became the national pastime.

 

To be able to follow an entire World Series by immersion is extremely satisfying. Or, in the case of the 1993 Phillies, you can follow their whole season, as the majority of that team's regular-season games are available. They are split between two playlists.

 

I suggest making a regular appointment to groove on games — or perhaps several regular appointments. Radio broadcasts could accompany daytime chores, while a televised game could be a nightly primetime treat.

 

Live sports will eventually be back. But, until then, this is every fan's chance to engage with history.

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7 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Live sports will eventually be back. But, until then, this is every fan's chance to engage with history.


That’s how I’ve been doing, except with documentaries, historical podcasts, and reading. 

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9 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:
18 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Live sports will eventually be back. But, until then, this is every fan's chance to engage with history.


That’s how I’ve been doing, except with documentaries, historical podcasts, and reading. 

 

A worthwhile historical podcast devoted entirely to baseball topics is This Week in Baseball History.

 

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8 hours ago, OnWis97 said:

So, how much have folks missed sports?

 

Not as much as I miss being able to walk into a store without wondering if I'm risking my life for a loaf of bread. B) 

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I'd been having trouble staying interested in sports because I'd been involved in the primary, that took up all my attention, and the Hawks and Bulls sucked ass anyway, so they were easy to move to the back burner. Now that the primary is effectively over and I invested time and energy for absolutely nothing, I feel pretty marooned, depressed, and hopeless. I miss baseball, but even if it were back, I don't think it would fill the void.

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I have been watching a lot of Unsolved Mysteries and Addams Family on Pluto TV.  Also been watching the Riff Trax fellows on their Twitch stream.

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7 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

I wonder if one of the silver linings will be that sports gets lowered a few notches in many people's priorities, which over time (theoretically) would reduce the amount of money that's put into the system, resulting in lower rights fees, lower salaries, lower prices, and less corruption at the college level.  I mean... it would probably take being without sports for a full year before some people are weened off it enough, but at least what I'm hearing locally seems pretty positive.  I was expecting SPORTS fans to be like "this is silly, get them boys back out there and open the damned stadiums, I'm no coward, I ain't afraid of no flu", but it's not like that at all.  Not even close.

At the college level, I’m afraid that this would play itself out a lot more by harming non-revenue sports than by impacting the status quo in football or men’s basketball.

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I was just thinking. If worse comes to worst and the economy ends up in worse shape than 2009, would big leagues consider contracting? The last league to contract a team was the NHL in 1978 and MLB considered a few teams for contraction in 2001 before settling in the Twins and Expos but ultimately it never came to that. If contraction did happen I think the NHL would be most likely, followed by the NBA, MLB, and lastly the NFL. I'll start speculating in that order. 

 

NHL: The NHL is the most top-heavy league in terms of team value with less than a third of the teams be worth more than the rest of the league.

1. Arizona: They "need" a new stadium and the taxpayers aren't budging. I doubt an economic crisis would change that. They're also worth less than half a billion dollars and Arizona doesn't care about them.

2. Ottawa: awful ownership and dead last in attendance. I don't have any other reason but it feels like it might happen

3. Florida: The Panthers play in a city that doesn't care about hockey. Can Miami support a team playing a game they don't care about during something like this? I hope we don't have to find out

 

NBA: The NBA is more popular but still has a few loose ends that could potentially be candidate for contraction

1. Minnesota: Minnesota is weird because we're the only state with pro teams that hockey is more popular than basketball. The Wolves are consistently dead last in attendance and honestly, we don't really care about them. They're the worst active franchise in NBA history and most Minnesotans wouldn't care if we lost them. Maybe if they get contracted then the economy improves we might get an expansion franchise that won't suck.

2. Memphis: The Grizzlies are 4th in attendance and last in franchise value. Them also being one of the younger franchises wouldn't raise as much of a concern as a team with a richer history.

 

MLB: Baseball hasn't seen contraction since 1899 and has so many historic franchises that contraction would be a tough pill to swallow. I'm mainly looking at teams that are either in stadium hell or are just poor.

1. Tampa Bay: The Ray's have the worst stadium in baseball, poor attendance despite being competitive in one of the best divisions in baseball, and an owner that thinks splitting the season between two counties is a good idea. That kind of dysfunction is the first to go in a crisis.

2. Miami: I'm not one of those people that thinks major league baseball can't succeed in Florida, I actually think the Miami market could be very successful. Unfortunately they're currently the least valuable team and fans don't trust ownership. Sorry Derek. 

3. A's: This ones a longshot, but Oakland is currently the 5th least valuable team, is in an awful stadium, and is in a city struggling economically already. If this happens theres no doubt in my mind some shenanigans will go with it just being "temporary" and some investors from a different city buying the rights to the franchise and "relocating" the team when the economy recovers.

 

NFL: Football is a cash cow, most teams have more than enough money to get through an economic crisis so this will probably never happen even in the worst projections. But it's fun to speculate. 

1. Buffalo: this would be sad. An AFL charter member ceasing operations would be insane, but we all know Buffalo isn't going to have a team in a couple decades anyways. The Bills are the least valuable franchise and Buffalo is a small, shrinking market that might not be able to support the Bills in a crisis.

2. Cincinnati: The Bengals were behind only the Chargers in attendance. Brown is the second poorest owner in the league and the franchise is the third least valuable. Bad ownership and playoff futility has hardened the hearts of many Cincinnatians who have pretty much given up on the team.

 

How do you guys think a theoretical contraction would play out?

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I was planning to go to Dodger games this season. Haven't bought tickets but I was planning on buying them late March.

 

The games were April 29 (vs Twins) and May 23 (vs Indians). It's clear I won't see these games in person now. 😔

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I miss sports a great deal, because I’m bored as sin. My teams add a lot to my life, both as communal in-person experiences and as easy weeknight entertainment.

 

Even DOING sports is fraught now. I’m afraid to go for a run, not because of the virus but because I don’t want a neighborhood Facebook group vigilante to snap my photo and say I was 5.9 feet away from somebody or something.

 

on the plus side, at least my “I won’t watch the Red Sox if those sleazebags dump Mookie” stance is being enforced.

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9 minutes ago, Digby said:

Even DOING sports is fraught now. I’m afraid to go for a run, not because of the virus but because I don’t want a neighborhood Facebook group vigilante to snap my photo and say I was 5.9 feet away from somebody or something.

 

Easily one of the worst non-people-dying parts of this whole thing, far worse than not having sports, is the paranoid misanthropy that has consumed so many people. Everyone fearing, policing, judging, it's a real :censored:, and the longer this goes and the more people find themselves at the ends of their ropes, the more people are going to get hurt. How long is it going to take to recover from the notion that everyone around us is trying to kill us with germs? We're a nation of Howard Hugheses (or is the correct plural "Howards Hughes"?).

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