By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It took three weeks of quarantine, but I come to you live from my couch, admitting that I am a broken
I put up the fight you probably thought I would (I’m leaving this determination up to you), but it’s over.
I’ve stayed inside and watched everything besides Tiger King because I’m not wasting my time on that. I lived in Billerica. I’ve destroyed about a billion boxes of Cheez-Its. Extra toasty, of course. I’ve gone for walks around the neighborhood to stay sane, but those are out the window next because I outright refuse to Sub-Zero cosplay and buy a mask, and I’ve now been reduced to swearing at the television when I hear a news report I just plain don’t like. Again, it’s over. Been over, probably.
I just really miss sports.
Especially this time of year.
Make no mistake about it: This time of year is the best time for sports. (Tonight, by the way, would’ve been Game 1 of the B’s quest for Stanley Cup redemption.) But it’s about more than the team closest to my heart. This is the time of year when you have the first round the NHL and NBA playoffs going, and baseball is just starting up after five months away.
You essentially have meaningful, live sports from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. every day of the week for weeks straight, and there’s just nothing better. This, in an ironic twist that doesn’t help anything, is when I don’t want to leave my home. And speaking locally, given the possibility of deep runs from both the Bruins and Celtics, April 2020 had been circled since October.
But staying inside with nothin’ to pass the time but classic sports reruns — the sports package tried killing my morale completely on Wednesday night, by the way, as the NHL Network aired Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final while the NFL Network aired 2018’s Patriots-Eagles Super Bowl at the same time — and depressing news that tells me this beautiful, beautiful aspect of our lives isn’t coming back anytime soon? This is gross. It feels like a damn attack, to be honest.
(Now, don’t be an dummy and fall out of your chair to scream, “THERE’S MORE IMPORTANT THINGS GOING ON IN THE WORLD.” I get that this isn’t important when people are dying and losing their jobs at rates we haven’t seen in this lifetime. I’m also not saying the absence of sports is the most important thing in the world right now. And please, I’m actually begging the people who are screaming this — and especially those thinking it’s some sort of enlightened, above-it-all view us neanderthals couldn’t dare wrap our heads around — to stop being idiots on purpose for the sake of an internet comment.)
It also might honestly be the most frustrating thing I can recall being part of. Ever.
Nobody knows when this is going to end. Major League Baseball is reportedly hoping to come through with a May launch in Arizona. The NBA is looking to turn Vegas ballrooms into parquets and Frankenstein their postseason, and the NHL is looking at North Dakota and New Hampshire. Also: Nothing more NHL than seeing the other leagues pitching these bright-light, nice-weather options and then saying, “Hmm, how about Grand Forks and Manchester?” Des Moines, Iowa must’ve been busy. I love this stupid league so much. This is all promising until politicians and doctors enforce public bans through the end of June and suggest that Thanksgiving is the earliest we’re going to see football. Thanksgiving!
Every timeline feels like a guess and every proposed plan back to normalcy is hanging on by a thread.
But perhaps most defeating of all is knowing that absolutely nothing we get this year (if we get more than nothin’ at all) is going to come with the familiarity and excitement that today typically brings. That first hype video. That first chant. That first goal. That first moment that you know is the start of something special. From the chants up the escalators into the arena to the standing-only third-period and fourth-quarter viewings, there’s just nothing like the dueling playoffs in Boston. It even makes the smelliest Orange Line train seem enjoyable. Hell, even sitting at a sports bar and camping for four hours to watch multiple games can be a thrill this time of year as you get hooked to teams and series you scoffed at the week prior.
None of that is coming back this year, and it took today for that to truly hit me in the head.
If any of these leagues start up with enough time to declare a champion this summer, it absolutely won’t be in front of a crowd. If we’re to believe the doctors and experts, there’s just no way we progress that much in such a short span. There’s actually a good chance it won’t even be in that team’s home city. Potentially iconic moments will have to be viewed on a screen, and in the same place you’ve holed yourself in for the last month. Championship parades? Yeah, they won’t even let you in the grocery store if there’s 40 people already in there, so good luck with all of that.
Everything that makes sitting through 82 games worth it has been tossed out the window. Or at the very best, pushed to a time to be determined. It’s like finding out that Santa Claus has been replaced by a gift card that either has three dollars or $1,000 on it. The gift card might have been accidentally thrown out entirely, for all we know.
At least I get to sit inside with all these terrible thoughts that are making me have a bad time. Cool. Cool, cool, cool.
Is it over yet?
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.