Sports

What are the best alternatives to TV sans sports?

Relive some of your favorite memories with reruns and documentaries

No actual sports are being played and as a result, nothing can be broadcasted live. But don’t fret, there are ways to satisfy a craving for sports. Companies and their channels have started to air old games and release documentaries.

Going into my senior year at Xavier, I thought three things were certain in life: death, taxes and sports. As it turns out, the only thing that is certain is death. Taxes can be delayed until July and sports can be postponed indefinitely.

But that begs the question of what exactly are the sports networks broadcasting when there is nothing to broadcast? Networks, leagues and teams have answered that question in unique ways. 

The first answer is the most obvious. When in doubt, just play the highlights. 

Broadcasting past games has allowed fans a look into the past and an opportunity to relive the glory days of their favorite teams. 

As a Cubs fan, I have been watching a lot of 2016 playoff games lately but found one of the most interesting things I watched was Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout game from 1998 on ESPN. 

There’s something fascinating to me, as a sport management major, about watching a broadcast that is nearly as old as I am. No clutter on the screen, it’s just the score and the action of the game. Watching rookie Kerry Wood just make fools of the Houston Astros was incredible to watch. 

Leagues and broadcasters have followed the same model. Because Opening Day has been delayed, MLB aired an Opening Day Win for each team. Broadcasters like ESPN and FOX Sports have relied on re-airing old games as well as their hosted shows, such as SportsCenter and The Herd. Local stations are relying on the same tactic, such as FOX Sports Ohio airing two Reds wins over the Cubs on Monday. 

Something that teams can do now that they couldn’t do 20 years ago is simulate postponed games using video games. Games like MLB the Show and NBA 2K have been at the forefront of what players and fans alike watch. The games are realistic enough that LeBron James once said that he tested out different lineups in the game. 

While local broadcasters have been broadcasting simulated games of their local teams and then reporting on them as if it actually happened, the NBA and NASCAR have taken games to the next level. 

A tournament of 16 players, ranked by their overall in the game and playing as their respective teams, will reward the winner with $100,000 for a charity of their choice. 

In my opinion, it’s just revealing who is bad at 2K. I mean losing by 52 when it was a 7-point game at half? C’mon Demarcus Cousins, you’re better than that. 

NASCAR has taken to virtual racing, with drivers racing from setups in their homes while everyone has been shut in. These virtual races have pulled in almost a million viewers each of the past three weekends. While the competition is for nothing more than bragging rights, the competition is real between the drivers. 

Driver Bubba Wallace even rage quit after and cut his gaming stream. He ended up losing a sponsor because of it.  

Arguably the best part about virtual racing is the crashes. You know you can enjoy them because nobody gets hurt! 

Finally, sport documentaries are something that people can’t get enough of. ESPN is at an advantage with their hugely popular 30 for 30 series and they know it. 

They are smartly moving up the airing date of the Michael Jordan documentary, “The Last Dance,” which details his quest for his sixth NBA title in 1998. 

The 10-part, 20-hour documentary will have thoughts from prominent people like Barack Obama to Kobe Bryant. 

While there will not be any new sports for us to watch for some time, I think it’s worth taking a look at what we already have in these uncertain times.  

Categories: Sports

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