The seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic has become clear. The NBA, NHL, and MLB have all announced that games will be put on hold for the foreseeable future.
By all accounts of medical professionals, these appear to be wise decisions by the leagues. There's no arguing that.
But there's also no arguing that this changes the daily lives -- no matter how inconsequential -- of hardcore sports fans quite a bit. Game viewing is an important part of many Philadelphians lives, so we reached out to some of the biggest fans we know here in Philly to see how they plan to fill those voids.
The timing of games being suspended was particularly tough for Flyers fans who were riding one of the team's hottest streaks in recent memory.
"Us Flyers fans were, excuse me for this, Flying high recently," Fran (who some of you may know from his mildly funny @FlyGoalScoredBy Twitter account) told us.
"Charts were showing us as the favorites to win the Cup. Charts! Those things NEVER give us good news. We had goalies! When have we everrrrrr had goalies?"
It's true. I can't even remember any goalies, to be honest.
Fran suggested a three-pronged approach to filling the orange game-day void: 1) Cold ones 2) HockeyFights.com 3) Search eBay for weird Flyers gear.
"Search HockeyFights.com for your Berube’s and Brown’s and Cote’s and heck if you’re feeling wild, your Mike Richards’. I could watch Richie TKO Dubinsky from here until we die," he said. "And you can get LOST on eBay looking at knock off Flyers gear. Need a wierd Flyers clock? Done!"
Michael Robertson, a huge Phillies fan that runs a popular Twitter account dedicated to radio broadcasters Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen, says the lack of games will be a challenge.
“Quitting cold turkey is rough,” he said.
In addition to catching up on Netflix, reading, etc. — “you know, the cultured stuff that gets punted because you have to watch Tommy Hunter pitch” — Robertson plans to get his Phillies fill from the archives.
“There will be plenty of old Phillies games on YouTube that I'll be throwing on the laptop.”
Robertson did point to one potential silver lining.
“If Opening Day only gets pushed back two weeks, it's not too bad. I don't think I've ever been to an opener that was above 40-degrees and dry. But I'm starting to think I'm not going to get a lot of use of the Ballpark Pass.”
The usually-humorous Sixers fan we talked to, @Killakow, also rationalized a pretty specific “best case” for how the future could play out for Sixers fans.
“Best case scenario is that most of the United States self-quarantines and practices social distancing rather seriously and that, after this first month, things are stable enough that sporting events can resume,” Mr. Kow said.
“If that were to happen, this might be a blessing for the Sixers for two reasons: First, it allows the team (especially Ben Simmons) extra time to get healthy. Second, if the NBA moves to a condensed playoff schedule and makes each series best of five instead of best of seven, then the Sixers will probably have a better shot at advancing deeper into the playoffs. Failing all of that, the best case would be for this season to be immediately forgotten and considered to be a ‘gas leak year’ like season 4 of ‘Community’.”
Finally, I texted my cousin Danny, one of the biggest Philly sports fans I know, asking him what he planned to do with all of his new-found free time with no games on TV?
“Wash my hands,” he responded.
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