There is no toilet paper in our stores and no sports on our televisions. Tumbleweeds gust through our arenas. Lists abound sharing the best historic games available online, transforming the unpredictability of sports into a sad facsimile of your Netflix queue.
ESPN is replaying recent basketball games. Soon, the network will be dipping into the archives for games broadcast in standard definition 😲. We’re not far from retro World Strongest Man competitions returning to afternoon programming 💪💪💪. That development may actually be embraced on a national scale.
Sports are gone, and no, we don’t know when they’re coming back. Already, MLB has pushed back its start another eight weeks in accordance with new guidelines supplied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The NBA has suspended play indefinitely. Likewise with the NHL and MLS. The NCAA tournament has been canceled. One shining moment has become none.
The beat goes on, however. Live sports may be missing, but the metronome of sports keeps ticking away — for example, the NFL is conducting its business and dominated the news cycle during a wild Monday of trades and free agency.
This is Day 6 without sports. Feel free to lean on the boring athlete’s cliche: We’re just taking it one day at a time.
SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY
Most of us want to punch coronavirus. Instead, let’s watch Nolan Ryan punch Robin Ventura. This never gets old:
Story time! Here’s the be
Sports you could be watching
OK, so you really need something. The itch must be scratched. There are options.
There’s horse racing taking place in Youngstown, Ohio, at the Mahoning Valley Race Course, which is holding events without spectators. Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Oklahoma, is open, with races set for the afternoon. (You can watch a live stream via each venue’s website.)
Pakistan Super League cricket is scheduled for the country’s capital of Lahore, though the planned start time — Lahore is nine hours ahead of the East Coast, with action underway at 5 a.m. ET — will have already cut into your efforts to research, you know, the rules of cricket and such. The first game pits the Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi. The second match, which is set for 10 a.m. ET, features the Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars.
That’s it. Pakistani cricket can become our new thing. Impress your friends by explaining how the Qalandars have been at the bottom of the standings since the league was formed in 2016 but are 5-5 this season and on the march.
The games we’re missing
What could’ve been. Here’s what was scheduled to be happening in the world of sports:
The NCAA tournament would’ve started today (😭😭😭) with two of the four First Four games in Dayton, Ohio. In 2019, the opening round kicked off with Fairleigh Dickinson beating Prairie View A&M and Belmont topping Temple.
According to USA TODAY Sports’ mock tournament bracket, today would’ve featured two of the following four hypothetical matchups: Northern Iowa vs. Xavier (No. 12 seeds), N.C. State vs. Cincinnati (No. 11 seeds), Robert Morris vs. N.C. Central (No. 16 seeds) and Prairie View A&M vs. Siena (No. 16 seeds).
We’ll never know how Prairie View and Siena would’ve matched up.
- Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons
- Charlotte Hornets at New York Knicks
- Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets
- Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies
- Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trailblazers
- Dallas Mavericks at Sacramento Kings
The typically full slate of spring training games would’ve been at your fingertips. Take a positive outlook and remember that these games were meaningless anyway.
- New Jersey Devils at Toronto Maple Leafs
- Calgary Flames at New York Islanders
- St. Louis Blues at Philadelphia Flyers
- Buffalo Sabres at Carolina Hurricanes
- Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild
- Florida Panthers at Winnipeg Jets
- San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche
- Dallas Stars at Vegas Golden Knights
- Montreal Canadiens at Los Angeles Kings
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg.