Image Credits: Fisto staff
For a lot of us, sports is the ultimate escape from reality. Sports fill a void for so many of us even if we didn’t realize it until now.
It’s cliche to tell the stories of sports saving lives, whether it’s an athlete bouncing back from rock bottom, a lost soul finding their calling in coaching, or an athlete getting their prestigious Olympic ticket, we hear these stories all the time.
All these years, sports were the diversion from life’s problems, not the problem itself. But then they started shut down, one by one, starting at the top, now filtering to the bottom, for the protection of all involved from a new virus we don’t yet understand.
We take them for granted, but sports play an important role in a lot of our lives.
With the outbreak of Coronavirus epidemic, not only the sporting events, athletes but also the fans have felt the brunt of the threat with almost all major sporting events skidding to a stop amid the situation.
From local leagues like the Hero I-League, Indian Premier League, Indian Grand Prix, and BWF tourneys, to the Tokyo Olympics preparations, ATP and WTA and Fed Cup finals and National Hockey League, sports has been put on hold indefinitely.
As a fan, you knew you'd normally be watching the European football tip off about now. You knew there'd be a shocking result, a captivating character would emerge - maybe a player, maybe a coach.
So what can sports fans do during this extraordinary time where their favorite past time is taking a break?
1) Take a look back on highlights, iconic games
Every day is a throwback day for sports fans and athletes alike as we wait for the hostilities to begin again. Just go on a blast from the past and relive iconic sports moments through highlights and full games uploaded on Youtube.
Hotstar has a wide range of game highlights and compilations to get a football, Tennis, Badminont, Cricket and other sports fan through the break.
Full games can also be streamed through official club hosting watchparty (Only few European Clubs doing it as of now) — which will be streaded for everyone free during the break.
Classic Cricket games like India’s victorious 2011 World Cup matches being televised on Star Sports and the IPL also have highlights and full games on Hotstar Premium and other streaming services to help you relive that game-day excitement.
2) Find the perfect sports podcast
And there’s nothing that pairs better with life under a blanket than a good podcast (and lots of snacks). If you’ve been telling yourself you’re going to start listening to podcasts soon, but haven’t had the time, I have great news—it’s time, and there’s a wide world of podcast episodes you can now catch up on to keep the conversation going.
3) Play your favorite sports video game
Sports leagues may be suspended in the real world, but the grind continues on in a video game setting.
Playing video games can be another great way to keep in touch with friends from afar through online multiplayer features that certain titles provide, along with single-player stories that will take your mind of the chaos for a good few-hours. It doesn't matter what console you own either, as there are plenty of video/Mobile games to play from FIFA, NBA, IPL and PUBG while self-isolating across the board.
4) Get into competitive board gaming
Got that competitive itch that only sports can scratch?
Try picking up a board game that feeds your competitive need while you wait for sports seasons to start back up again.
If you’re quarantined alone at home, pick up a ball – could be anything – and play on your, make yourself some target and achieve it. For households with more members, opt for the timeless favorite Carrom, Chess, my personal favorite Uno, or the ever-timely Rummy or the traditional game like Ludo, Dayakattai and Paramapadham.
5) Pick up a time-consuming puzzle
There’s nothing that makes time tick away quite as quickly as a good puzzle. They require a great deal of attention, they’re fun to put together, and they’re engaging for groups of people if you happen to be quarantined with others.
Opt for a sports-themed puzzle to get your fill—as a recreational puzzler, I recommend puzzles with 1,000 pieces or more, as they take the most time to complete. When you finish a puzzle and discover you’re suddenly a puzzle enthusiast, is such a feeling.
6) Start a sports-themed book club
There are a number of excellent sports-related books out there, whether you’re looking for a great fiction novel or nonfiction book. Reach out to your group of friends who have been sadly shredding their sporting season and see if they’d be interested in joining a virtual book club.
Free versions of Google Hangouts have the capacity to allow video calls for small groups, so you can host your online book club without having to learn how to set up a group call on your phone.
7) Binge sports movies like it’s no one’s business
There’s no reason sports-themed movies can’t keep you entertained right now. Many of our favorite streaming services—like Hotstar, Netflix, and Hulu—are filled with classic sports movies that should keep you engaged and give you a lovely dose of nostalgia.
I personally recommend watching my favorite sports film “The Fighter”, but if that’s not your taste, peruse sports content on the big streaming giants.
8) Get started on house cleaning (and turn it into a game)
This one’s a hot take, but if you’re stuck at home sport-less and truly have nothing to do, make that time productive by jumpstart on house cleaning. It’s the perfect time to clean, disinfect, and rearrange your favorite place or your sports-watching spot so it’s ready for the next time the big game comes on.
And if you’re truly desperate, I encourage you to make it into a game—or better yet, comment on everything you’re doing as if you were a sports broadcaster. It’s sure to be entertaining for any roommates or girlfriends, kids too.
All these forms of entertainment that we take for granted are actually luxuries. The only thing we have indefinitely is the self.