Sunday, July 26, 2020

John Oliver on sports for an Opening Day delayed by pandemic

When I told my readers to "Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature" at the end of Company Man explains Zoom's success, I thought I might post something about theme parks or sports. Since Opening Day was last Friday with two early games on Thursday Night, I'm going with Coronavirus VII: Sports: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO).

John Oliver discusses the sudden disappearance of sports due to coronavirus, how their absence is impacting people emotionally and financially, and the complications of bringing them back anytime soon.
While MLB didn't seem to adopt the bubble league idea, the NBA has. The Los Angeles Times described it as Life in the NBA bubble: Learning to survive a ‘three-month road trip’.
The NBA has descended on Disney World, with 22 teams that each brought 36 people, occupying three of its 22 hotels with security blocking entrances and exits. Some measures are in the interest of completing the season without a COVID-19 outbreak. Some are for player safety or comfort. It all creates a bustling community of people who aren’t accustomed to working in such an enclosed environment.

Tucked away in a resort community that’s secluded from the public, there are no autograph seekers or paparazzi, only players, coaches, team staff and NBA personnel.
And I thought being on tour with a drum corps for three weeks was isolating! Let's see how well the bubble league experiment works for the NBA.

Returning to baseball, the ESPN article I linked to above lists a lot of changes MLB made to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's the first.
No fans in the stands. Some teams will use cardboard cutouts of fans in the seats behind home plate. Fox announced it would include computer-generated fans on its broadcasts, starting with the three games it is televising Saturday. In watching these early games, there is no doubt the empty ballparks create an unusual viewing experience, kind of like watching a game from the Kingdome in 1983. The games might sound relatively normal though, as stadium engineers will pump a variety of crowd noises through the ballpark sound systems.
First, that looks familiar, as it's one of Dr. Fauci's suggestions. Second, way to throw shade at the Seattle Mariners, ESPN, not that I care. I grew up rooting for southern California teams and now root for Detroit's, so insulting Seattle teams doesn't bother me.

When the NFL season resumes, I might return to this well, as "Last Week Tonight" has a clip about the Washington pro football franchise, which will no longer go by their offensive name. Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment