We’re all in the midst of social distancing and various versions of staying home. Unless you’re in Florida, then you’re laughing at your governor that can’t seem to understand how to put on a mask, all while packing the beaches like nothings happened. At some point in the not too distant future, we’ll be allowed to resume our lives. But what will that really mean? What’s our new normal going to look like?
Call me crazy, but I think sports will be a central part of bringing us back. Sports have always been a huge factor in almost everyone’s lives. The sport may change with each individual; it might be soccer, or baseball, possibly basketball, or lacrosse. For me it’s always been football, golf, and basketball, but it’s exceptionally hard to find a person that hasn’t been somehow touched by sports in their lifetime.
That connection fuels interest, and that interest drives conversation and interaction. When sports in any form do come back, people will tune-in, consume, and talk about them together. What’s our new normal going to look like? I’m not sure, but I believe sports will be the driving force behind helping us get back to normal.
I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about. The Los Angeles Chargers (still weird typing LA) have one of the smallest fan bases of any NFL team. Yet on Tuesday morning they premiered the new updates to their uniforms. In one hour that generated over 50,000 interactions on Twitter alone.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some interaction, in person, you know, with eye-to-eye contact? Remember those days?
A great way to satisfy that jones is to attend a sporting event. But when will that happen and what will that be like? Will the NFL start their season on time? Can Major League Baseball get any of their season in this year? Should the NBA try to finish their season?
Will we need to practice social distancing at sports events? Are there going to be empty seats between each of us? How many empty seats? If so, how long are the owners going to be okay with less revenue, or will tickets prices double? Let’s face it, the only place having open seats will be welcomed is the airline industry. Finally we’ll all have enough legroom. Also, am I the only one shocked that Fanatics hasn’t come out with a “team mask” for every pro-sports team yet? Come on guys, you’re slackin’.
Oh-by-the-way, when something exciting happens, how will we celebrate when we’re at the stadium? Do we jump in place or just look at each other and yell? Will the new thing be a self-five or an air-five?
What will the viewing experience be? Will that be at home or could it happen at a bar or the proverbial gathering place? If there are empty stadiums or limited seating in stadiums, what will the NFL do to heighten interaction and involvement for those of us at home watching? Could this be the inroad for in-game gambling to draw people to the event and keep them viewing?
What’s Ahead for Us?
Who knows exactly how things will go and how fast things will come back. All I know is everyone is tired of hanging around the house watching reruns, and we already know there were only ten episodes of season three of Ozark.
The cure? It just so happens the NFL Draft starts Thursday night and the ratings for it are going to be astronomical. I would expect the viewership numbers to crush every other TV event this year. In fact I expect to see them get into the all-time top 30 most watched TV shows rankings. What was the only non-Super Bowl TV show in the all-time top 30 most watched shows? Keep reading for the answer to that little piece of trivia.
Not only will die-hard football fans be glued to their televisions, but there are so many people craving something new to watch that there will be many first time viewers. Best of all, it will be a completely different experience than we’ve ever had before! The Commissioner, Roger Goodell, will announce the picks from his living room; at least he won’t get booed like every other year. The team’s general managers will be sitting in their living rooms or home offices connected via the internet, live!
I have to be honest, I’ll be waiting for something to go completely sideways. Maybe a GM with a live mic goes to the kitchen to get a drink or make a sandwich, or worse, a bathroom break. Even better, you know there will be a GM with a live mic that gets sniped on a pick and drops the F-bomb. The one I’m secretly hoping for though would be the perfect storm of technical issues when someone drafts Josh Love instead of Jordan Love.
Top 30 Viewership Trivia
And the answer to the top 30 all-time most watched TV shows trivia: the only non-Super Bowl TV show in the top 30 all-time most watched TV show list is 1983’s M*A*S*H, “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen” with 105.6 million viewers. No other regular TV show has ever cracked the all-time top 30!
Where Do We Start?
What’s our new normal going to look like and when will we start down that path? Who knows exactly, but I know mine will start when I tune in to the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday at 8:00 pm EDT, I’m sure you will be too. Let’s set a record!
Chris Pinto @AggieKappaSig, Nate Herman @NateHerman27, Kye Potter @KyeP_Sports, and I are the lead football contributors for Belly Up Sports. We will be live tweeting during the Draft on Thursday, so look for us to give instant feedback and the fantasy implications as the picks roll in.
As always, let’s continue the discussion. You can follow me on Twitter @Slymsuknhogs. And don’t be shy about checking out all the other great Belly Up content. Find us online at BellyUpSports or on Twitter @BellyUpSports and @BellyUpFootball.