Sports in the age of pandemics

Sports have always been a peripheral part of my life and so I have not deeply missed the absence of big-time sports contests. But there seem to be many people who are suffering from sports withdrawal symptoms even if they were just viewers and not participants and they are yearning for its resumption. It was the abrupt canceling of the basketball season just before an NBA game began, that was soon followed by all the other major leagues canceling their seasons, that made everyone realize that this pandemic was serious stuff. It is one thing for public health officials to issue warnings. Those can be shrugged off. It is something else entirely to cancel a sports season. That gets people’s attention.

John Oliver discusses the sense of deprivation that many fans have felt and how there seems to be no foreseeable way to bring sports back while maintaining the physical distancing required for everyone involved, even if one does not allow spectators into the arenas. The logistical problems are just too immense.

But does that mean there can be no contests at all? He says that there is one new competitive sport that is safe and exciting. Make sure you watch to the end to see this exciting new alternative that satisfies all the requirements.


  1. says

    I’ve been watching the “sport” in question for weeks. They recently “partnered” with the Formula E (electric car) racing series, and the actual Formula E TV commentators were announcing the races.

    New Zealand, like Taiwan, has only dozens left infected, and Australia is down to a few hundred. They might be the first to have major sporting events (e.g. domestic soccer and basketball leagues; motorsports) though I doubt South Africa would go along with being left out of the pro rugby league for a season.

    It’s more likely than you might think. Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong have already talked about resuming commercial air travel among countries where it’s under control.

  2. says

    Meh. Sport is boring, and a waste of airwaves. Leave it on the dedicated channels, if you must have it, but can we please stop putting “games” on the main broadcast channels?

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