/ Opinions / A whole new ballgame: when sports return

A whole new ballgame: when sports return

April 21, 2020 by Brett LaBore

It’s no secret COVID-19 has changed the professional sports schedule. Usually there would be baseball, basketball and hockey on right now, in addition to NASCAR, the PGA Tour and other sporting events. Now, everything is different. 

I’m not sure quite what to expect, but I’m going to roll with the punches. What I do know is the collegiate spring sports’ season has been cancelled. Unfortunately that means no College World Series, no Women’s College World Series, no track and field or any collegiate sport.

I’m a huge college football and basketball fan. I haven’t gotten into a spring sport as of now, but I was really starting to like college softball. They have some seriously good athletes and the games were really fun. So it makes me sad that I can’t capitalize on last year’s excitement.

Plus the College World Series is always a June tradition.

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Games have been postponed and moved to the summer of 2021. I was looking forward to the Olympics, but I can hold my excitement until next summer.

So what will this summer look like?

Hopefully it’s full of the NBA, NHL and MLB. I think baseball will pick up and Opening Day will be some time in the summertime. It may not be ideal, but baseball opening up in the summer sounds kind of fun. 

Usually Opening Day is in the cool spring temperatures of March and/or April. An Opening Day in the heat of the summer sounds like the perfect recipe for summer fun.

The NBA and NHL Playoffs could be July and August, maybe even September. I’d be down for that. July and August can be slower sporting months, with the only sport that I watch being baseball.

If there are NBA games during those months, it could get really fun and give me something to look forward to during those late August days.

There is a possibility the NBA Playoffs could sneak into September and be on the same days as college football or the NFL. I’m fine with that. There’ll be plenty of buzz in the air and I can switch back-and-forth between games.

At this point, I think fans will take games any way they can. I just don’t want to see things cancelled completely.

The Masters will be mid-November. Though that’s a major change from April, I’ll be in the holiday mood and will enjoy the Masters as I think about Thanksgiving around the corner. 

My point in all of this is that for a sport’s fan like myself, I’m used to the same schedule of games and what time of the year it is. Now it might change and I’m all for it. I think it will be fun and I’m going to embrace it.

As I write this, I’m not saying there will be sports in the summer or even the fall. I have no idea. I’m just saying what could happen and what the possibilities are and how much fun it would be.

Now if and when the schedules do change, we could be looking at the 2020-21 NBA season starting around December which would be another fascinating idea. I’m used to Christmas basketball, but to start the season around Christmas would be a change and a welcomed one.

One final interesting tidbit is whether or not there will be fans in attendance at these games. Fans definitely make it more exciting, but are they necessary?

I am a huge fan of home field advantage, but they don’t have to be there. If returning to game action means no fans initially, then so be it. I just want to watch games. 

The sport which makes me wonder the most is college football. College football is predicated on fans and traditions and loud chants and noise. It would sure look different without fans in attendance. 

I remember a baseball game without fans. It was White Sox at Orioles in Baltimore on April 29, 2015. It was a different sight for sure, but not implausible. I love fans and think they are what make sports fun. Lambeau Field for the Packers and Albertsons Stadium for Boise State are elite home field because of fans. But if that’s what it takes to get games back, then we’ll have to go with what we have. We can cheer from our couches. 

Everything is up in the air. I’m just excited to see sports return in any fashion, no matter the time of the year. 

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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