What Do We Do Without Sports?

Wait, wasn’t baseball season supposed to have started by now? Shouldn’t we be awaiting a great Final Four matchup right now? Effectively, because of Coronavirus, all sporting events have been either pushed back, suspended indefinitely, or cancelled. For many of us, myself included, this is a difficult scenario to face.

That’s because sports add color and excitement to our lives. 

The world of sports gifts us with two rewards: it’s a place of bonding with others and is also a means of striving for excellence.

For those of us who are sports fans, I doubt that we watch our favorite teams or players in a vacuum; sometimes we are the fans in the stands or we watch the games with family and friends at home or in a bar. We talk about our love for these games with the people we watch with and the others we know who share our interests.

Sometimes we also watch for people we care about. We watch because our friend really likes the game and it is a way to spend time with her. As a high school teacher, I go to the school’s games because I want to support my students past and present, because I already have a relationship with them. Those chances are not available right now.

And for the athletes, the games allow us to push ourselves and become better. My students were heartbroken to learn that their seasons were going to be cut short. They won’t have the chance to push further into the playoffs. Some won’t even play their senior (or freshman) season if they played a Spring sport.

We don’t have live sports right now. And we don’t know when our favorite teams or sports will come back on the air. And these delays really sting.  

Teams on the verge of winning it all may never see their season come to a close and end their championship drought. Teams poised to have a great Spring season or to turn a mediocre Winter season around have to wait to see their next chance, be that later this year or next year. Athletes in their prime may never have that stellar season they have been working towards.

And yet all is not lost. The bonding with others and the striving for excellence need not stop simply because we aren’t currently playing or watching our respective games. Whether sports have been a source of bonding or of pushing ourselves towards excellence, here are a few alternatives we can do right now.

Instead of watching the new games, watch a few classics in the interim. Whether your favorite is baseball, basketball, hockey, football, soccer, or something else, there are numerous classic games to watch. 1 And we don’t have to watch these games alone; get a few friends together (via Facetime or video hangout) to stream some great games and share stories of some of your favorite eras. And if your favorite team seems poised for a great run or a breakthrough, talk about your hopes for the franchise’s (or school’s) future with fellow fans.

In short, this break in sports is an opportunity to remember why we love these games in the first place. During this time we can go back to that source of life, whether it’s through memories, replays, or conversations with friends and mutual fans. 

And for the athletes, thankfully there is still the chance to exercise. There are solo practice drills we can do, running, lifting weights. Athletes can, and are, continuing to strive for excellence. And while these are obviously important, we can always keep up with teammates to encourage each other and to be encouraged ourselves.

Ultimately, none of these provides the excitement or energy of playing or watching sports in real time, but we have to do the best we can with our current circumstances to keep our love of these games alive. We can make it out through this time by remembering why we love the games and by keeping that love alive though talking with others, rewatching old games and moments that are important to each of us.  

One day, the games will come back. Perhaps the absence from them will help us to appreciate them all the more when they return.

Photo by Free To Use Sounds 

  1. MLB.com has more than 100 classic games available for free on its website, or try some classic soccer, NFL Game Pass for free until May 31st, classic hockey or some NCAA basketball, or some classic NBA

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