When Will Sports Come Back?
By now we know that the novel coronavirus can wreak havoc everywhere and on anyone—it’s not a picky virus, to say the least. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the world of sports as a result of country-wide lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders, shall we?
Tokyo Summer Olympics
For the first time in Olympic history, the event has been postponed for a year. After several large participating countries withdrew from the event fearing the health and safety of their athletes, as well as the growing number of COVID-19 cases both in Japan and around the world, the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese Organizing Committee decided to postpone the games. For those who questioned the idea of E-sports at the Olympics, it doesn’t sound like a horrible idea anymore, now does it?
Racing Cars – NASCAR
Recently, NASCAR announced that it intends to have a full thirty-six race NASCAR cup series this year. Races will begin this month, but the race schedule for the remainder of the year has not been determined. While races will be happening, no fans will be allowed to watch them in the stands. But not to worry, NASCAR fans can still catch the races on Fox Sports.
Cycling – Tour de France
Tour de France, one of the biggest cycling races in the world, was scheduled to start on June 27th but has since been postponed until August 29th. This postponed date, however, is still in limbo since the Prime Minister of France, Edouard Philippe, announced in late April that all large sports gatherings have been banned until September. Cycling fans will just have to wait and see if they’ll be witnessing one of the greatest bike races of all time this summer.
Golf – PGA Tour
Although many golf courses have been closed during shelter-in-place orders, some are opening up again. And good news for golf fans: The PGA Tour is scheduled to begin in mid-June. The United States government will be supporting the PGA by giving the organization COVID-19 test kits so that players and those involved with the tour can be regularly tested. Fore!
Baseball – MLB
While baseball fans may have to wait a bit longer to see their favorite MLB players in action, the league isn’t just sitting around and doing nothing. In fact, twenty-seven out of the thirty MLB teams will be joining a nationwide study on COVID-19 antibodies. Approximately 10,000 people in the various franchises (from executives to players to hot dog vendors) will be tested for the COVID-19 antibody. Why this test? It will help researchers determine who has already been infected by the coronavirus.
There’s no word as to when we’ll hear “Play ball!” again in the United States, but Taiwan’s professional baseball games might just be the ticket for those missing the sport. Taiwan has been a model for fighting the coronavirus and with its efforts, it has been able to start their baseball season. No fans have been allowed in the ballparks, of course, but that doesn’t mean that players aren’t getting some love from cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands and robot drummers creating a sense of excitement while the game is happening. Furthermore, Taiwan is taking this opportunity to raise the profile of its professional baseball league. How? By sharing their baseball games with the rest of the world! One Taiwanese sports network, Eleven Sports, is live streaming home games for the Rakuten Monkeys and broadcasting it in English for free! Only caveat? There’s quite a time difference depending on where you are in the world. Set your alarms? You’re welcome, baseball fans.
Basketball – NBA
It’s unlikely that the NBA will return this season, but similar to the MLB, the league has offered its support toward research on COVID-19 antibodies.
Football – NFL Draft
Nothing’s going to keep the NFL from having their draft. Instead of postponing or having an in-person draft, the NFL hosted a virtual draft and even streamed it live on the NFL Network. Now that’s some dedication to the sport, their fans, and all of the potential draft picks!
Running Of The Bulls
In Spain, the Running of the Bulls is a centuries-old tradition where thousands of people run through the narrow streets of Pamplona while being chased by bulls! Millions of people flock to the otherwise quiet city for the weeklong Festival of San Fermín that would have taken place in July this year. Unfortunately, the Running of the Bulls was canceled this year because of the pandemic. Another Spanish tradition that’s been canceled as a result of the coronavirus? La Tomatina, one of the biggest food fights in the world! Spain foresees a greater battle with the coronavirus this summer.
Interesting Fact: Tens of thousands of people gather in the town of Buñol, Spain, every August and throw over 100 tons of ripe tomatoes at each other during La Tomatina.
Horse Racing – Kentucky Derby
Similar to other sports, the Kentucky Derby had to be postponed. While fans of “the most exciting two minutes in sports” will have to wait until September to see whether their favorite thoroughbred will cross the finish line first, they were treated to a virtual Triple Crown showdown. Inspire Entertainment pulled together a virtual race that had all of the past Triple Crown winners going head-to-head. In the end, Secretariat, the winner of the 1973 Triple Crown, took the virtual title.
Interesting Fact: The Kentucky Derby hasn’t been postponed since World War II.
Soccer – Bundesliga League
While soccer leagues around the world have suspended play, Germany has given its professional soccer league the green light to begin playing again this month. Of course, fans will not be allowed to watch the games in the stadiums, but they’ll be able to cheer for their favorite teams at home. Gooooooaaaaallllll!!!!
Tell us what your favorite sport is and what you miss most about it. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.