“Wash your hands, wash your butt.” ~Davante Adams
I am a sports guy, not a medical professional. So my only medical advice is going to be, listen to Davante Adams, and listen to the CDC.
Now on to sports. This is a scary time. People do not know what is going on, nor do they know what to expect. As a college student, I do not know when I will return to campus, to normal school, and to what has been my normal life for the majority of the last two years. People all across the country and across the world are beginning to feel this to varying degrees.
During World War 2, over 500 baseball players went to war for the US. During that time we had the MLB, but there was also the All-Girls Professional Baseball League, which inspired the Tom Hanks movie, A League of Their Own. During a time where the entire world was in chaos, and women and children went to work producing for the United States, the country still had our national pastime.
One of the reasons people love sports so much is because it provides an escape; It provides a 3 hour time slot where you do not have to worry about politics, personal troubles, or professional issues. For 3 hours you can focus on the bat, the ball and the glove. For 3 hours you can focus on the ball and the hoop, or the ball and the hits and the end zone. During a time where we are all trapped at home, ideally, and don’t have the luxury of our daily routine, the lack of sports is disorienting.
So what do we do?
Honestly, I have been looking for an answer. I have some, but I don’t have the big answer. One way to distract yourself is video games. And I know some people won’t enjoy me saying this but it really is true. Not only can you hop on to YouTube or twitch and watch someone play games at a much higher level than most of us over could, but you can escape in them yourself. Missing the NBA? Play some NBA2k20. Missing baseball? Log onto your PS4 and drill Jose Altvue with a pitch in MLBTheShow. While a seemingly trivial recommendation, it may provide more sports relief than you would think. Take my word on this one.
My other recommendation is this: watch some old games. For athletes, watch an old basketball game to pick up some of Kareem’s footwork or Klay’s shooting form. Learn Greg Maddux’s pitch selection and location or the way Tony Gwynn fought when behind in the count. Treat this time as a time for learning and rest, because these moments do not come often, and rarely do you have a time where everyone will rest. Enjoy some old games with your dad or grandparents, whoever you are isolated with. (And you better be isolated).
In a time of crisis, we often turn to sports. While LeBron may not be on ABC this Friday night, the technology we have available to us allows for an amazing amount of flexibility. Play a video game, watch an old game with a family member, and maybe learn a thing or two in the process. And whenever the sports world returns to normal, go out and support your favorite team(s). They are really going to need it.
And don’t forget to wash your hands, and your butt. 🙂
MJ Hurley is an all-sports writer for the Philadelphia Chronicle.
Follow MJ on Twitter and Instagram at @mjhurley47.