It’s A Good Time To Be A Sports Fan

Outside lies infection. On sports TV, it’s non-stop replays of classic games.

Chuck Thompson
Published in
5 min readApr 7, 2020


These are great days for sports fans. Eternal optimists in the face of season-ending injuries, unforeseen calamities and bullshit reffing, we’ve long been accustomed to our lives being rearranged by an indifferent universe and incompetent administration.

A walk-off, bloop single by their Mendoza Line utility infielder. Our big plans discarded like a crumpled sweat rag the moment their killer frontline punches us in the mouth. Sports fandom comes with a price and we’re all familiar with its terrible toll.

In the time of the coronavirus, though? There is no pain. Only victory. Guaranteed.

The casual observer will tell you they like “good games.”

“As long as it’s close, I don’t care who wins,” they’ll declare as if kissing your sister is the essence of sports.

Sports fans who lose 10 pounds in anxiety-sweat before every big game — and gain it all back in anxiety-drinking when we’re down two with three minutes to go and they have the ball — hate close games. We prefer blowouts. We relish taking a huge lead in the first ten minutes then coasting to victory because this allows us to high five our buds for three straight hours and savor a W without all the stress.

That’s why COVID sports are so satisfying. And life-affirming.

Glory Days Every Day

At first, the suspension of games in every pro sports league seemed like a huge downer. The day I started taking coronavirus seriously was the day they canceled March Madness.

It turns out, though, coronavirus hasn’t meant the end of games. The nation’s sports mainliners — from ESPN and FS1 to networks run by the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA — have risen to the challenge by filling the void with round-the-clock replays of old games.

Who’d want to watch a five-year-old game when you already know who wins, the casual channel-flicker might ask. “Us!” the nation’s sports fans have replied. It’s true that even with all the shelter-in-place TV binging going on, overall ratings for sports networks have declined. But that’s only because the crisis…



Chuck Thompson

Author of five books including Better Off Without ’Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession, and the comic travel memoir Smile When You’re Lying.