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The Stages of Sports Withdrawal as Marvel Movies For Some Reason

As I sit in my apartment watching Face/Off for the second time today, I started thinking. “Did I forget to eat again?”

The Outfield Encroaching on the Infield by Bill Smith is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Stages of Sports Withdrawal as Marvel Movies For Some Reason


Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes

As I sit in my apartment watching Face/Off for the second time today, I started thinking. 

First I thought ‘did I forget to eat again?’.  My next introspection was slightly deeper with a ‘wait, what even is today?’.  The third has brought me here.

If my math is correct, and it always is, we are at day 66 since the NBA announced their season would be suspended.  I have been filling this void the best I can with TV, movies, and any other media that can distract from the monotony that has become our current existence.  One of my major time fillers has been Marvel movies.  I love comic books and since they have decided to stop releasing new issues during this pandemic these films are all I have.  So please join me on my descent into madness where I compare these cinematic achievements to the different feelings we (I) have encountered during this time in sports purgatory. 

The First Day I Was Told To Work From Home – Iron Man

Around 7:30 in the morning on March 9th I got a call from my boss in London asking me if I had the capabilities to work from home because I needed to start.  Luckily I had been working from home for the past month without telling anyone so I told him I felt confident I could figure it out.  I love working from home so this initial news that I was actually expected to was met with tempered excitement.  It was the beginning of something bigger than I could properly comprehend at the time.  Just like Iron Man was the start of a connected cinematic universe that no one could have predicted upon release.  Still with me?  The connections will only become more tenuous as we proceed so apologies in advance.

NBA Announces Season Suspended – Avengers: Infinity War

The first sports domino to fall was the NBA.  On the evening of March 11th, they announced they were suspending the season due to the virus.  MLB announced the same the next day and every other conceivable sport followed, including the NCAA Tournament.  The latter would eventually cancel the event altogether.  Watching these announcements slowly rolling onto my twitter feed I was reminded of the fourth Avengers movie.  After Thanos did his snap bit we had to watch character after character slowly disappear.  One by one.  Just like all our sports.  We knew it was coming once the first major sport fell.  It was, as that giant purple Josh Brolin so succinctly put it, inevitable. 

Day 40ish Without Sports – Thor: Ragnarok

By this point, life had become one long, endless day.  Things were so weird and had been for so long it began to feel normal.  The boredom had been accepted and we were trudging along.  For me, this is about the time things got weird again.  There was no warning.  It was unexpected.   The manic energy swept over me.  The inside of my tiny little Manhattan apartment that I had spent weeks slowly decaying in seemed different.  It was all the exact same but somehow not at all.  I had the same feeling when I first saw Ragnarok.  The first two Thor movies were fine.  They weren’t good or bad.  They were whatever.  They existed.  I barely cared for any of the characters or what they were doing. 

Then the third one showed up out of nowhere and was something totally different.  It was the same Hemsworth and Hiddleston but everything seemed to have changed.  Am I reaching here?  Maybe.  It’s not my fault.  I don’t think my brain ever properly recovered from this portion of the quarantine so who’s to say. 

Korean Baseball Resumed Play – The Incredible Hulk

This past Tuesday a sport finally resumed, kind of.  Baseball was back!  It was not our baseball but it was baseball.  The KBO began playing actual competitive games.  This is great for the people of Korea and really for sports fans from any country.  It was fun to all pretend like we cared.  Sure it was exciting to randomly pick a team to support on twitter and see highlights or even watch a game again, but we are really just killing time until we get our teams back. 

My first thought was this is just baseball methadone, but I don’t think any MCU movie centers around heroin addiction so instead, I am going with The Incredible Hulk.  No one really cares about this movie but when you are chasing that superhero dragon it’s better than nothing.  We will watch it and act like Edward Norton is worth our time but we are really just waiting for the Hulk we care about (Ruffalo) to show up.  This is sadly no different. 

Anytime My Family Does A Zoom/FaceTime Call – Captain America: Civil War

This one seems self explanatory.  We start off nice and civil but by the end we are trying to kill each other in an abandoned Soviet missile silo.

Whenever Sports Return – Avengers: Endgame

While we have no actual date for this to occur, it will happen eventually.  All of our favorite characters will be back but with a few notable casualties along the way like crowds, home parks, or abbreviated seasons.  The thing we love will return and we will miss the parts that don’t come with it but we will understand that the narrative dictated this and we will accept it.  

So until then, here’s to another day exactly like the last.  

Josh grew up in the midwest and upon graduating from the University of Iowa he wanted to see the world. After 4 years in Jacksonville he decided he was cultured enough and moved on to Birmingham England (known to the locals as the Detroit of the UK) and then west to San Francisco before settling in NYC. He pays his bills working in finance making sure the 1% remains on top. When he is not selling his soul and unable to look himself in the mirror, he spends his time writing mean things about sports while his dog, Sweet Dee, silently judges from her spot on the couch. He is very biased and never wrong. He would also like to thank Rotowire for never changing their NBA League Pass and MLB.TV passwords from that year when he was an NBA Beat Writer for the Nuggets for some reason.

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