What Do Sports Fans Do During a Pandemic?

Paul Scorzafava, Centurion Staff

Like the rest of society, sports have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With every major league and college sports teams canceling or postponing their seasons (with the exception of the UFC) until further notice, there has been a major void in the lives of many Americans.

To give Americans their sports gambling fix there have been many un-orthodox things to bet on while the major sports like the NBA, NHL, and MLB remain in limbo.

One of those things to fill the void that people have been doing is betting on the weather, yes you heard me betting on the weather.

According to yahoofinance.com Amid the coronavirus pandemic, online sportsbooks BetOnline.ag and Bovada.lv have begun offering “Weather Prop Bets” to their wagering menus.

For example, what will be the highest recorded temperature (in °F) at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on April 1, 2020? They then give you an over and an under, Over 58°F: -120, Under 58°F: -120

Bucks student Nick Salguero 23, of Bensalem, gave his opinion on weather betting.

“I like to gamble so maybe once as a joke but nothing serious like I would on normal sports,” said Salguero.

For those who are not that desperate, the UFC has stepped in. While the other major sports seasons were canceled or postponed the UFC has been at the forefront of getting live sports back.

There have been three UFC events since the start of the stay at home orders in early March. All of which were held in empty arenas with minimal staff and essential personnel only.

Avid UFC fan Tom Marinucci 23, of Levittown, said, “I’m super excited that UFC is back and we finally have some live sports to watch.”

The NBA suspended its season on March 11 with teams having played 63 to 67 games of the 82-game season. There have been talks with commissioner Adam Silver about resuming the season.

According to espn.com Silver talked about one or two locations for the games to be held and the focus continues to be on Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort and Las Vegas.

The games would be held without fans in attendance and would have essential staff working in the stadiums.

The NFL is still planning on starting its season on time. They had their annual college draft done digitally in late April. The season is set to start on Sept. 10 and many of their offseason meetings have been done digitally.

The NFL draft although it was done digitally it gave sports fans a sense of normality. Grant Reed 24, of Levittown, said that “it was nice to watch the draft, and I’m glad they still had it.”, he continued with “It was nice to watch tv and not have it all be about the virus for once.”

The NHL suspended its season on March 12 with each team having played about 70 games of the 82-game regular season. The league’s draft, which had been scheduled for June 26 and 27 in Montreal, was postponed, along with the draft scouting combine and draft lottery.

There were talks with Commissioner Gary Bettman about resuming the season with doing something similar to the NBA.

According to nbcsports.com there has been discussions about cities serving as hubs, teams playing in their own rinks with no fans, expanding the playoff field, and using a tournament format, among others.

The MLB has also begun negotiations to start their season as the 2020 season was postponed with only a few spring training games being played.

According to cbs.com the major items included in MLB’s proposal, were an 82-game regional schedule and universal DH, 30-man active rosters with a 20-player taxi squad, 14 teams in the postseason with games played in home cities in October, and 50/50 revenue split for players and owners.

With no baseball, some fans like Mike Hensel 24, of Warminster PA said that “ I know that these are strange times that we’re living in now, but it really hasn’t hit me until I realized that there’s going to be no opening day and that I’m not going to be able to go down to the bank and watch a game.”

So, there is hope on the horizon for major sports to return but all of these are just proposals and nothing has been confirmed. The sports spectrum is being dictated by this global pandemic. If the coronavirus seems to let up then we might see some more serious planning on the way.