Earlier this week I came across a note that I never thought I would see in my lifetime. Last Thursday was the first time that NASCAR, Major League Baseball, NFL, NBA and NHL and Major League Soccer all played on the same day. NASCAR was represented in that mix with the Gander Truck Series race at Richmond Raceway. I don’t need to get into how it happened, because I think we all realize this sports equinox of sorts.
While the NBA and NHL are playing in bubbles, baseball is playing in front of empty stadiums, if you don’t include the cardboard cutouts. NASCAR, NFL and soccer have been mixed as to the extent of hosting a limited number of fans at its venues. Nevertheless, all sports are now in progress, something we really didn’t know if we would see back in April. Each one has taken a little different approach to their return, based upon the nature of the sport. The one thing they have common is that they have all gone through a methodical process in achieving their short-term goal in returning to the “playing field.”
How much this phenomenon will become the norm remains to be seen, depending upon when each league is able to get back on a traditional schedule. One thing I will say, though, as a sports fan it gives us plenty of options as we peruse the daily sports listings. There is certainly a little something for everyone.
It also creates a great deal of drama. Like NASCAR, both the NBA and NHL are in the middle of its playoffs – at the time of this column the NHL in the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA in the semi-finals. And as a Miamian, it’s fun to see the Heat perform the way they have this year, having advanced to the Eastern Conference finals in that bubble in Orlando. And while we are not able to witness the playoff energy at the American Airlines Arena, including one of the best public address announcers in the NBA in Michael Baiamonte, it’s still pretty cool.
Baseball will commence its playoffs in just another few weeks. So champions will still be crowned across sports, albeit in the most unusual of ways. Of course for those of you who follow