Coronavirus impact: Stay connected to sports without live matches
Did you ever think a pandemic could put the world to a standstill, all at once? Now that it is happening, we are all grappling our way through it – be it businesses moving to remote working, social distancing, staying indoors and having all the events and big-ticket sports matches cancelled. Sports is the purest form of entertainment and connects people across the world like no other. Fans take time out of their busy schedule and even wake up in wee hours of the day to catch the sporting action live. There is endless banter on social media on the performance of the teams and players. Passion and emotions run high during such discussions.
Given the current circumstances, Sports Federations and Leagues worldwide have rightly been suspending or postponing matches and events. All sporting events globally, including the likes of IPL, EPL, NBA and La Liga, have uncertain future schedules.
With no live sporting events, avid sports fans are left with few options to keep themselves engaged with their favourite mode of entertainment. Here are some ways in which sports fans can keep themselves clued-in with sports.
Watch the classics: We are always hooked onto keeping up with live matches and scores, there is barely any time to look back to the classics or reruns of our favourite leagues or moments from a particular match. Like the most entertaining – Manchester United’s amazing treble-winning season in 1998-99, or Kobe Bryant’s 81 point game, or Zinedine Zidane’s unbelievable Champions League finals volley in 2002. In the absence of any live matches, sports broadcasters across platforms are now providing greater access to these classics to keep fans engaged.
Stream sports libraries: Catch up on the documentaries and movies made on your favourite sport or sports personality. Check out sports libraries across OTT platforms, some of these are outstanding. Iverson featuring the life of NBA star Allen Iverson; Senna which showcases the life of the late Ayrton Senna’s sensational Formula 1 career; This Is Football captures the heart of why billions around the world so love football; and there are a host of others to binge-watch.
Brush your fantasy sports skills: Most sports fans have played a fantasy sport at least once. Those who haven’t, mainly blame lack of time for catching up on sports or the understanding of platforms. Now, you have quick online courses you could enrol to learn tactics of this skilled gaming format. Treat this as a strategy timeout by tracking players, teams, games for better performance history which would help play better once the games resume.
Sports IQ: Sports companies are continually innovating with exciting games and quiz formats to keep the audience engaged through social media. While doing this for fun, you could end up winning some sports merchandise or other benefits to flaunt the fan in you.
Explore newer sports: Most of us end up following just one or two sports, and most likely it is cricket and maybe football. Here is an opportunity to explore similar thrilling sports like kabaddi, basketball, hockey, volleyball and many more. In the last decade, India has taken considerable strides towards becoming more than a cricketing nation and moving towards a multi-sports nation. A true testimony of that is the fact that in the recent past, India has hosted international sports such as NBA games, a FIFA Tournament and seen the rise of homegrown sports leagues like Pro Kabaddi League and Pro Volleyball League. More and more fans are engaging with newer sports and you can do the same.
Sports fanaticism knows no boundaries. And, expanding your boundaries within the sport you love as well as other sports is something you will not regret. Until the crazy is back, let’s stay indoors, stick to our daily dose of sports, and brave the pandemic like a team.
The author is the co-founder of FanCode.