Virus Outbreak Baseball

Cubs fans take photos through the locked gates at Sloan Park, the spring training site of the Chicago Cubs, in Mesa, Ariz., Friday, March 13, 2020. Major League Baseball has suspended the rest of its spring training game schedule because of the coronavirus outbreak. The league is also delaying the start of its regular season by at least two weeks (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

So, it’s been a weird couple of day, hasn’t it?

Do you remember there was an ESPN commercial a couple of years ago about there being one day when there were no major sporting events scheduled? The people in that commercial, like, mowed their lawns? Washed their cars? That sounds terrible.

And yet, here we are. There are no sports.

Is it good we don’t have sports? Of course. People are doing a good thing by being proactive against the coronavirus and protecting the most vulnerable among us.

But also, what do we do now?! We should all stay away from large crowds and try to quarantine ourselves as much as possible, which is the right thing to do, even if it is also extremely boring.

“Cara, there are about a million streaming services each with 7 trillion hours of movies and TV to watch. How could you ever be bored?”

Easy. I hate watching movies at home and get bored any time I try to start watching a new TV show. I always turn it off halfway through the first episode and just end up re-watching Parks and Rec or Gossip Girl for the 500th time.

Sports are the thing we all have to stave off boredom and build a community, so what do we do without them? I pitched this question on my Twitter. What sports related things can people do or watch while we live in a world with no sports happening? Here are some suggestions I received, as well as a few I came up with on my own.

1. Watch sports

Someone gave me an incredible idea for watching sports even with sports aren’t happening, saying on Twitter, “My buddies up in Jersey and I are watching the Eagles/Pats Super Bowl at the same time Sunday and texting like we would during a live game. Better than nothing, right?”

I love this idea so much. Yes, part of watching sports is the drama of not knowing what’s going to happen, but it can be really fun to re-live those special sports moments all over again, especially as a way to bond with friends who also love those sports moments just as much. Even when quarantined, sports can still bring friends together.

A cool thing is if you go to YouTube and just search “Super Bowl/World Series/NBA Finals/Stanley Cup/etc. full game” there are tons you can watch for free.

You can also buy the Chicago Cubs World Series DVD on BestBuy.com for $10.

(O.K. yes you can buy other championship DVDs for just as cheap, but the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series title is the most important championship in any sport any of us will see in this lifetime, but I guess if you care about other teams more that’s fine too.)

If you’re looking for more obscure sports to watch, YouTube has literally everything. There is the Ultimate Dodgeball Championship Finals (played on trampolines!), World Darts Championships, and the 2018 Olympic Curling Gold Medal Game. If there’s a weird sport you’d like to watch, it’s on YouTube.

Something else really awesome I learned: You can watch full episodes of Nickelodeon’s GUTS on YouTube!

GUTS, and then Global GUTS, was this super awesome game show on Nickelodeon in the 90s where young athletes would compete against each other in various athletic events, and then finish with a race up a fake mountain called “The Aggro Crag.” The winner got to take home a piece of that Aggro Crag! In the world of athletic game shows, GUTS was the best.

2. Watch documentaries or read other sports content

You know when the perfect time is to read all those tabs you have open on your web browser? When you’re stuck at home for hours on end. At any given moment I have at least 10 sports stories open that I want to read but don’t have time for. This is my moment.

If you’re more into watching things, ESPN will show three “30 for 30” documentaries today, including the most recent Michael Vick documentary at 7 p.m. Many others are available on ESPN+, but you need a subscription.

ESPN2 will also show encore presentations of eight women’s and men’s college basketball games throughout the day today.

3. Get outside

Disclaimer – if you’re feeling sick or fear you may have been around someone who is sick, do NOT do this. Please stay home. We’re still protecting the vulnerable here.

As of Friday, the Martinsville YMCA and Smith River Sports Complex said neither has plans to close down due to coronavirus concerns. Just make sure to absolutely practice social distancing, wipe down any equipment before and after you use it, and make good use of all the hand sanitizer they have.

One suggestion several people offered for getting by in a sportsless world is “going for a run.” I reminded them that this is no time to talk crazy or to do something irrational, but I suppose if you want to run… ew, why would anyone want to?

Just kidding, I’m training for a 5K. I hate it.

If you want to get outside, though, the new walking (or running…) trail at Smith River Sports Complex is awesome. The sports complex also offers a place for more fun things like soccer or playing on the playground or just walking. Plus, if you go for a walk at the complex on a nice afternoon you might get to see a dog!! But remember that pets can also get coronavirus so practice social distancing with furry friends too.

With vigilance we can get through this time together.

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