Like many of you, I was preparing for the Big 12 tournament and a great month of college basketball and then the beginning of baseball season when it all came to a screeching halt. This shutdown of our country is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, and has forced us to put things into a new perspective. Had you ever imagined anything like this would ever happen? I know I never have.
My sons and I really enjoy riding our bikes. We ride quite a bit on paved trails, dirt trails and even gravel from time to time. We get out as often as we can and one good thing about the shutdown is the fact that we’re able to ride more. We see a lot of folks on the paved trails in Lawrence these days. Whole families getting out and spending time together and most people are trying to adhere to the 6 foot rule. So being without sports hasn’t really affected me quite yet. Sure, I miss watching the Royals and I miss the NCAA tournament, but we’re getting by.
ESPN and CBS have done a good job of showing older, classic games. I was able to watch a 1986 baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox when Roger Clemens struck out 20 Seattle batters. It was incredible watching Clemens work. I also found it interesting that Danny Tartabull, former outfielder for the Royals, was playing 2nd base for the Mariners.
CBS has been showing classic KU basketball games as well. It was nice to watch them win the 2008 National Championship all over again. If you subscribe to ESPN+, they also show a lot of old games. In addition, ESPN+ has a show called Peyton’s Places hosted by former quarterback Peyton Manning. The episodes are short and very entertaining. Check it out if you have a chance!
As for the sports world, some things must still go on. The NFL draft continued as scheduled. Free agency is still going strong, with the biggest move thus far being Tom Brady leaving New England for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The jury is still out on whether that makes the Bucs a Super Bowl contender. Probably not, but definitely a playoff contender. Especially with the expanded playoffs going forward. The NFL is expecting their season to start on time.
Baseball is considering a July 4th start to their season and the NBA is just hoping to have something that resembles a playoff in the near future. How about a March Madness type tournament for the NBA? Let every team in and play a bracket in a lose one and go home format. That would be fun!
When this is all over and we’ve come out the other side, I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll be living in a changed world. Things will be different but right now, that seems to be the new normal. Living through this is really putting things into perspective.
–Rob Mooney, Metro Voice sports writer