Signs Of Life
Greetings from The Booth!
First of all, to April we say, “GOOD RIDDANCE”! For as long as we live, we’ll certainly remember the month of no live sporting events, a continuing national lockdown, empty store aisles, masks, hand sanitizer, and a country mired in record unemployment. Oh, and The Tiger King. Yes, we will always remember April 2020, but not fondly. We can only hope that along with flowers, hummingbirds, and warmer temperatures, May brings us transition to a more normal way of life.
With that out of the way, here is my continuing “What Sports I Watched This Week” segment. I am now hooked on the highly-acclaimed ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” about the 97-98 Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. It’s an absolutely compelling account of that final NBA Championship year in the great run of “Air Jordan” and his supporting cast. Episodes 5 & 6 air this weekend, and I can’t wait.
In this era of Lebron James, Michael Jordan is starting to slip into the rear view mirror, especially for younger fans who don’t quite remember Michael. We can have the debate over who is the greatest basketball player of all time: Jordan, James, Magic, Bird, etc. But when you revisit some of MJ’s aerial acrobatics in “The Last Dance’ doc, the jaw hits the floor. But I think what makes Jordan the best player ever is that he made everyone around him better. I’m not sure you can say that about “King James.”
Back to the pandemic. If you looked real close, there were some signs of life this week in the sports world, which gave me hope that we’ll be past this craziness sooner than later (there is always hope). The first sign was that NASCAR will be back on the track soon, albeit without fans. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper gave the green flag
to NASCAR to run the Coca Cola 600 May 24th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, provided the pandemic doesn’t get worse. NASCAR is set to resume May 17th at Darlington. A live sporting event (no, the NFL Draft doesn’t count) would be a welcome sight to sports fans everywhere who are tired of watching replays.
And, MLB is hashing out a plan that would have baseball resuming in late June with a 100-game regular season schedule, a realignment of 3 divisions of 10 teams based on geography, and teams would play in their own MLB ballparks. Again, without fans, but at this point we’ll take it. It’s hard to imagine Summer without the national pastime, so any plan by MLB to get the boys back on the field is OK by me. I will miss my now-annual “Guys Day at Nats Park” sojourn, but any baseball is better than no baseball.
Certainly, the crack of a bat or the roar of an engine can’t cure a virus. But short of a vaccine for Covid-19, these small signs of sporting life could be the shot in the arm a lot of us need right now…
Until next week from The Booth…stay safe and GO HORNETS!