It was a matter of course.
Before 2020, sports were one of the things we could trust. There may be wars, disasters, depressions, storms, losses and sorrows, but there have always been escape hatches. There will be games.
There are games on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, and almost any entertainment at other times. It was very easy.
Things were so certain that they printed the team’s schedule on a small card in your wallet and a poster on the wall of the bar room, and they were the gospel. Fans may look at the schedule a few months ago and, yeah, think I know where I am that day. I know what to do that night.
That was part of the attraction, wasn’t it? All that certainty? I think we are watching sports because we don’t know what will happen. We mainly look because we do so.
I knew that a team would appear. We knew that all the best athletes were there at the designated time.
I have an order. It could be 82 games or 162 games or 16 games, which would somehow lead to a determined champion through a system that only loyal people can decipher. There is a life to plan around these games, and there are 60 minutes or 90 minutes or 3 periods or 4 quarters or 9 innings because life is not a test cricket game.
There will be rules, uniforms and officials to keep things fair.
You may complain because it is also part of the ritual and there is enough hope to maintain your dedication. It is hope that the ritual is bound.
Cruel, these shifts were just robbed when we needed them most.
But that is the lesson of 2020. A reminder that losing a game is not the worst kind of loss. far cry.
But where does sport fit in now? Is it the same place as before?
By March, the NBA and NHL were in mid-season form. College basketball was going crazy. Baseball was a spring training. The Summer Olympics were approaching.
Spring was the season of expectations, and expectations were in full bloom.
Do you remember where you were and who said it? There were signs of being crushed in about a week that felt like it was still going on.
Wait like a storm. Give for days or weeks. This is a pass. Everything will soon return to normal.
Do I need to continue the show?
I had a game to play and money to earn. (People were dying.)
And when this season is over, the next season will start anew. (People are dying.)
Where does the sport fit?
If the world was very simple. Fight a pandemic. Whether to play the game.
However, the bubbles are not airtight from reality. There is violence on the street. There are people who are bleeding, suffering, marching and dying.
Yes, it’s important.
What does it mean to be a fan now?
A simple question for a complex year.
Maybe that means finding room for little joy. Maybe that means clinging to the sense of community. Maybe it means an unbreakable ritual. not now.
Is sports just as important when seats are available?
Are there people who insist on deafening roars, ridiculous chanting, and waves? Cap tips and curtain calls? Is there a peculiar and unscripted moment when a building full of strangers is loosely tied with deep-rooted interest and colorful clothing, clogged together between cup holders, elbows to elbows, knees to back?
Maybe. Probably not like before. Maybe never again.
There was a November match between two college football forces that encapsulated 2020 better than any other sporting event. In all seasons, including that weekend, the game was wiped out by a coronavirus outbreak and a single positive test. But this is not the case.
There will always be next year. That’s what they say in sports when teams run out of opportunities. It is also part of the ritual and is a grasp of the hope that a better day will come.
There will always be next year. I would say last year when I took the game, and certainly life itself, for granted.
There will always be next year.
Except this time, we know: nothing is certain.
– NFL Sports
Our changing view of sports after 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/28/sports/football/2020-year-in-review-photos.html Our changing view of sports after 2020