Sports Fans Find Alternatives During No-Sports Interlude

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – COVID-19 struck the sports world on March 12 as the NBA was the first professional sports league in the United States to suspend its season. Many other leagues followed, leaving sports fans without their primary source of entertainment.

Fast forward over a month later and the situation hasn’t changed. Sports networks like ESPN and Fox Sports have been airing classic sports games so even the avid fans, who may know the outcome of the games, can still get their fix.

Megan Hersey, whose family is Columbus Blue Jackets season-ticket holders, is among those who have taken advantage of watching the classic games.

“My family and I have been watching the re-runs of the (2019) playoff series when we swept the Lightning,” Hersey said.

Tyler Hutzler, a youth basketball coach and a basketball fan, also caught some of the classic games such as the 2016 NBA Finals when the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors, but Hutzler said the Coronavirus affected the very end of his basketball season as a coach.

“Our season actually ended the final week the league had basketball,” Hutzler said. “The following weekend would have been the championship games for all of the teams that advanced there from the various age levels, but those were all cancelled as well as the free throw and “hot shot” competitions that some of my players would have participated in.”

Hutzler has utilized this extra free time without sports by exploring some of his other hobbies.

“With all of this free time it gave me the idea to start a fitness Instagram page,” Hutzler said. “My friend and I started recording ourselves and posting them because we are both passionate about fitness. This has given us extra time to edit videos and have fun with it.”

On the Instagram page, Hutzler and his friend, Marlon Lanier, post daily videos of easy, at-home workouts that people can do while being in self-isolation due to COVID-19.

Earlier this week, the NHL brought up the idea of continuing its season in July. However, this may cause some issues as a shortened regular season could result in an expanded playoff with more teams. While this is only an idea, Hersey remains optimistic about the future of hockey.

“My family and I think there may not be an easy way to finish the season. The players will be out of shape,” Hersey said. “A positive thing for the Blue Jackets will be they had time to heal from all of the injuries they had since they had quite a few of them this season.”

On the other hand, Hutzler is remaining positive and believes sports will be better once they return.

“I’m looking forward to more competitive play because a lot of professional athletes have had time to work on their game, Hutzler said. “The play is going to be much better.”

As of now, none of the major sports leagues in the United States have any confirmed plans on when they’ll resume. Many leagues are in talks with what the future holds for the best of the sport.