In the grand scheme of things, sports being put on hold is a pretty minor setback within the scope of losses during a viral pandemic. The tens and tens of thousands of deaths, for one thing, and the millions infected, would seem a higher priority. Mass unemployment and loss of store hours have devastated both families and small businesses. Lack of basic human contact, especially with and for elderly relatives and those with health conditions or other disabilities, can be emotionally devastating.
But our website would not be able to exist, let alone prosper, if immense value were not placed on sports in this country. We are a niche website dedicated to one single team in one single sport, and we have been able to create a thriving community here centered around a common interest in that one team.
That is a testament to how valuable sports can be, to those for whom it does hold value, and the deprivation of sports has been felt throughout the course of the past several months. What few avenues we have had back into live sporting events have been greeted even by those who would not otherwise be interested in those particular sports, such has been the hunger for that competitive spirit.
Pittsburgh Steelers great Jerome Bettis spoke to this recently. “Not having sports, we are seeing how important sports are to the fabric of our country”, he said, according to Teresa Varley. “Not only the actual games, but the conversations about the games, the individual ones, we aren’t seeing that”.
He noted that the few leagues that have been able to resume, like NASCAR and the PGA, have seen new audiences because they simply want to watch competition. “Although it is not the core sports of the United States, it’s still sports and it’s starting to happen. We are starting to see the important part it plays in our daily lives. Although it’s only a game, it is a great change of pace”.
The football community is hoping that we can get our own sport up and running. For the NFL, training camps are scheduled to open on July 28. But the earliest that we might see any activity is mid-August, assuming any preseason games are held at all.
As of this writing, the regular season remains on schedule, though whether or not fans will be permitted to attend has yet to be determined. The NFL is hoping that it does not have to make any alterations to the calendar beyond the preseason. But they are resigned to the reality that it is possible.