These past few weeks have been anywhere between trying and miserable. Back when
I decided to first establish The Slumpbuster it was an escape, an escape from the madness
the world seemed to be stuck in. However, COVID-19, Corona, the 'Rona or whatever else
you choose to call this plague has sealed up that escape hatch.
Ever the optimist, I would have never foreseen the suspensions of the NBA and NHL
seasons. Surely Major League Baseball would be safe, right? Just the week prior I was
enjoying my first XFL game between the Houston Roughnecks and Seattle Dragons. That
was never an option when Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert was the first athlete diagnosed
with the virus.
Gobert was the catalyst that set the sports world ablaze. This was made all that much more
ironic when Gobert chose to mock the issue following sitting out a game with what, at the
time, were cold like symptoms. Shortly after, Gobert's teammate Donovan Mitchell also
tested positive and the NBA's decision to suspend operations become non-negotiable. In
the days that have followed notable names from the Lakers, Celtics and Nets have also
I do not blame Gobert for taking this issue lightly, I did as well. In my opinion COVID-19
was another disease sensationalized by the media, in the same vain as H1N1 (Swine Flu),
the Avian Flu or, most recently in 2016, Ebola.
The only thing left to capture my sports fix at this time is the WWE. I give credit to Vince
McMahon for trying to power through, especially after the XFL 2.0's inaugural season was
cut short. Unfortunately for McMahon this may be a poor decision when the dust settles.
All sports leagues are fan driven but in the industry of professional wrestling they really are the straw that stirs the drink. Having peaked in on a few shows the WWE has done since they made the decision to host events in their performance center with zero fan attendance, the results have been lackluster. It really is a disservice to the performers to have their biggest event, WrestleMania, diminished by a pervasive cloud of silence.
As important as the health of our citizens is, it is also important we pay attention to the world's economic health. In regards to the sports landscape, the lost revenue from
shortened/delayed seasons and lack of fan attendance will play a role in important issues,
such as, establishing a salary cap and establishing precedent for future global pandemics.
The local economies in these cities also do suffer the consequences. Local restaurants,
hotels and other spots for sports tourist are feeling the ill effects as I type. Most service
oriented businesses are struggling to operate as local governments place policies to
encourage social distancing. \
A big body blow to the industry of sports gambling was the cancellation of the NCAA Men's
Basketball Tournament. In 2019, over 17 million brackets were submitted via ESPN. In total
American's bet an average of $8B yearly on the tournament. The Kentucky Derby, another huge event for bettors, is looking at indefinitely being postponed. The race broke its own betting records with an estimated $227.5M wagered in 2018.
Not enough credit can be given to players like Kevin Love and Zion Williamson whom have
been leaders in this time of crises. Both players have made the decision to donate millions
of dollars to the arena staff who lost a big source of income with the NBA's hiatus. Even
Gobert, the man lauded for his reckless behavior, has stepped up with $500K pledge.
It is through acts of kindness like the one's listed above that we will put this era of Corona in
our rear view mirror. Whereas I wasn't serious about the issue prior, I too will make it a point
to embrace social distancing and isolation until such time that the virus is controlled. With
any luck we will crown a 2019-2020 NBA Champion, an NFL draft that's more than Roger
Goodell on webcam and of course baseball's Opening Day. Together we will re-open that
time-old escape hatch.
#COVID_19 #COVID #Corona #KevinDurant #DonovanMitchell #RudyGobert #UtahJazz
#NBA #NFL #MLB #SportsPodcast #Podcast #WWE #RobGronkowski #VinceMcMahon
#XFL #LakeShow #Lebron #China
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