QUAO: Coronavirus- A reminder of how much space sports has in our lives

first_imgRest. Restlessness. Boredom. A sense of emptiness.This is the cycle I have been experiencing in the last two weekends because there is no live sport anywhere to enjoy. Not as a fan and not as a sports journalist.That is what the Coronavirus pandemic has caused.Like a violent storm or a whirlwind that I usually see in those adventure/mystery movies I love so much, the spread of the Coronavirus around the world has left the sporting landscape bare and desolate.It almost feels like the sandstorm that was mentioned in the “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.Who remembers the scene that had Indiana Jones and Dr. Brady explaining what the Ark of the Covenant did to the town of Tanus after the artefact was taken there?For those who know what I am talking about, great news. If you answered, “nein” (no in German) then you need to see the movie.I get back on-side.There is simply no sports anywhere to enjoy. I will usually experience this after 9 months or so of brilliant Premier League action.The off-season represents a good break and a time to stay home over the weekend and get reimbursed with interest in terms of the sleep time that went away during the season.But not this time. All the free hours I and the many other fans of sports are getting is not because we have come to the end of the season.It is because the season has had to bow down and play subject to Coronavirus.When the good times were here: Hearts vs Kotoko at the Accra Sports Stadium in February 2020 in the Ghana Premier League (Image credit: Asante Kotoko)Never have I seen a situation so difficult and so powerful and yet so inexplicable.It is as though the pandemic was set up to shake the system down to its core and it has succeeded so well that fans have been heavily hit.Of course, my heart goes out to the many workers who have been affected. I feel for them. I really do but I find myself thinking about the sports fan and how he or she has been reduced to ‘nothingness’.I am one of those fans and as I thought about how much live sport had become a part of my life, I decided to ask if other fans felt the same.True, we need to spend time with our families and loved ones and there are times when they will say that we consume too much of one sport or the other, but the live action from the arenas are items on the weekend’s plans.Were my feelings exclusive to me or other fans felt that same way?It turned out I was not alone. I was not the sole sufferer of the “lack-of-sports syndrome”.Some fans sent me some voice notes and I could sense the pain, sadness and confusion in their voices as they told me of life without live sports.One said:“We need the Premier League back. We need our Champions League. We need our Europa League back. Coronavirus, please leave us alone and let us have our life back.”Another said:“I keep asking myself ‘what could have been?’. The LA Lakers has clinched their first playoff in a while and I wanted to see if they would win the Western Conference title.”A third fan sounded calm and explained how he had been cheering himself by watching videos of the more glorious and more successful Manchester United sides of times past.MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 08: Scott McTominay of Manchester United celebrates after he scores his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on March 08, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)I smiled to myself because I understood that journey. It is one I take every now and then to remind me of those wonderful days.Those three viewpoints from the fans painted the picture well for me and I got the message clearly.People had been pushed to strange lengths because there was no live sport.Sports was really a fixture in our lives and if we did not know and we were not remotely aware of it, the realisation was right there in our faces and it was breathing heavily into our nostrils.More thoughts came flooding to mind.If fans were suffering, then what about the media houses whose delight and mandate, to an extent, it was to serve us with all the wonderful sports we consumed on the regular?How were they going about their work on a daily basis as the pandemic was still causing more havoc in their part of the world?I reached out to Alvaro Romero, the Spanish editor at talkSPORT International, and he took me through what the Coronavirus had done to their regular work schedule and what they were doing in these very strange times.“A good part of what we do at talkSPORT is live football broadcasting and we serve the Premier League to listeners around the world in different languages. Unfortunately, the freeze on football means that we cannot do run live commentary feeds since there are no matches.However, people seem to want sports and so, we are doing more podcasts and live radio programmes.We are being imaginative with our programming and we taking trips back into time to talk about what has happened in the past because society always wants to hear something on the radio and people want something to keep them company.”That was quite the revelation and I suspect that a lot of content providers or media houses will give an answer that will be in a similar range.No one knows when things will get back to normal and to be very candid, nothing can replace the value of a human life.What will live football or basketball or tennis or athletics or boxing mean when there are no human beings to enjoy it?What is there to cheer when relatives and friends have been struck by Coronavirus?But then, there is hope that the world will overcome this perplexing challenge.There is the belief that this chapter, like all other chapters of misery and sadness that have punctuated the history book of this world, will end and there will be better days.When the good times reappear, all sport will come back and when that day comes, sports will take its seat, smile at all of us, welcome us back into its world and we will gladly run to it with open arms.It will hug us all and whisper in our collective ear: “Do you now see how much of a hold I have in your lives?”I doubt if someone will have a counter argument at that time. Citi Sports’ editor, Nathan Quao, says that Coronavirus pandemic may be causing a lot of havoc but it is also giving sports a huge platform to re-echo its place of pride to its fans and followers.last_img

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