Aside from some games in the first two months, there’s a chance 2020 might be a year without sports.
When coronavirus called the games I started to prepare for the prospect of such a year, but the notion still seems weird.
It is the home stretch of April, and sports have taken a back seat to more important things like safety and life.
Sports, however, are still important.
There’s always excitement for the NFL Draft.
Last weekend’s was different in a lot of ways, not the least of which were the facts it was live and involved sports.
There are professional athletes who now play their sport’s video game in leagues, for people who watch online.
Right now, I am glued to a 25-year-old baseball game on TV because the Atlanta Braves played in it.
The Braves are my team. The game is Game 1 of the 1995 World Series, at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.
Atlanta’s Mark Lemke just tracked down a ball at second, spun and fired to Fred McGriff to end the top of the sixth inning.
McGriff hit a mammoth home run in the second to tie the game 1-1, where it stood into the bottom of the sixth.
With the luxury of hindsight I can say Greg Maddux threw a 2-hitter in the game.
The Braves won 3-2, and won the series.
I was 10, and I liked baseball. I couldn’t play, but I could watch and I did.
Now, the game brings back memories as the players who’s baseball cards I collected 25 years ago take the field again on my TV.
Chipper Jones was a rookie, then, and I just watched him strike out.
Today, he’s a Hall of Famer.
Time passes and players hang up their cleats, but by then the memories are made.
People form unique attachments to the teams for which they cheer.
They take ownership of them.
Sometimes, these attachments are irrational.
If you don’t believe me, just google “Harvey Updike.”
I told you.
Most of the time, though, these attachments are rooted in a healthy love for a team which has played such a part in people’s lives for so long fandom is in their blood.
Teams bond dads and sons and mothers and daughters.
Teams bond friends. Teams bond families.
Teams bridge the gap between generations, and they bring us together.
The togetherness displayed by championship teams like the one on my TV is an important part of their success.
It’s even more important right now while we try to figure out how to flatten the coronavirus curve.
Right now, we are one team.