I’m pretty sure we shouldn’t have sports right now. You may have heard; there’s a pandemic outside! Professional sports with non-essential personnel who have masks covering their chins and who high-five in close quarters every four minutes are not conducive to this environment. Anyway, these sports are broadcast on TV every night. And I cannot look away.
Hi, I’m Ross and I have a sports problem.
Let’s call it a not-unhealthy addiction. For years, my internal calendar has been marked by the sports events we all gather to watch each year. College football signals back-to-school and incoming autumn weather. The Masters conjure springtime. Baseball means beautiful warm weather and days that threaten to never end.
My favorite event on the calendar – March Madness – was halted in its tracks last year. This was a shock to my system and my moment of realization that the horrors of 2020 were real. Nothing has felt real since. Eventually, sports came back on my television. But normalcy has been fleeting.
Sports also serve as my calendar back into the past.
I can easily recall events based on what was going on in the sports world at the time. That awesome road trip we took was in October of 2011. I remember because before we left, we had to go to that bar to catch the Cardinals clinching the NLCS. For better or for worse, I have intertwined my personal memories with recent sports history.
As such, I can tell you the last time that one incredible athletic feat happened. How could I forget when it goes along with fond memories of my family and friends? Now, I have an NBA Finals starting in September and a Masters Tournament taking place in November in my memory bank. Despite the isolation, 2020 will never be difficult to remember.
Sports are not essential, but cathartic. Similar to a movie, in sports we can watch our favorite characters struggle and thrive, but without a script and in real time. If we have learned anything about sports in the past year, it is that they serve as a never-ending escape from reality. The Great Escape.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself in the past year, it is this: If sports are happening, I will be watching. So join me! Let’s make memories of experiencing our regular escape in these irregular times. I will be here to put what just happened into historical context.
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