- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2020

What do we want? Live sports!

When do we want it? Now!

Fox Sports is trying its best to keep live sports alive, while the NBA, WNBA, NFL and other major leagues iron out contractual kinks.

Soccer is OK for about 60 seconds, about as long as it takes to find a smooth jazz channel.

A return to live NBA games is in the crystal ball of the digital sports entertainment and gaming company DraftKings Inc., whose survey released Monday said that 64% of American fans say the NBA is their most highly anticipated sport to watch again, followed by opening day of Major League Baseball, at 48%.

According to the survey of 1,000-plus, self-identified American sports fans, about 66% feel it important for live sports to return before September.

It’s obvious that sports is an integral part of business — especially entertainment, hospitality and tourism — around the world among the wealthiest of the wealthy and the poorest of the poor.

Accordingly, it’s helpful to see such a survey of Americans as the global trials and tribulations of daily life affect all.Long gone are the days when CNN was the only 24/7 news outlet. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the internet and smartphones claim that fame with never-ending access to sports features and reruns, as well as foodie lessons and YouTube DIY instructions for viewers trying to tackle a honey-do list.

There’s also Beijing-based TikTok, the social media app that allows you to post mini-videos of you and yours whenever you want.Such a state of social online affairs might not have become so popular were it not for the coronavirus and a captive audience.

Live sports broadcasts have been mostly quarantined, in “mask it or casket” mode, since before winter’s end. Pro and school sports teams, in fact, were among the earliest to go on lockdown.

No Little League, and don’t expect Pop Warner. No school hoop games or playoffs are anticipated.

Indeed, many grownups don’t want to be around kids unnecessarily, let alone be assigned to chaperone or coach them.Yet with much home time to try gluten-free baking and pantries stuffed with a variety of pastas and rices, many home-teaching parents and budget-conscious single folks turned to comfort food to ease their stress, creating nicknames for weight gain during the pandemic such as “COVID curves” and “Quarantine 15” — both worthy of Merriam-Webster’s updated editions.

It makes you wonder, does it not, whatever happened to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, whose world-renown athletes and Olympians urged Americans against being sedentary.

Well, it’s time for the council to get up and urge the leaders of America’s favorite pastimes to do the same.

Americans love their sports, and they love live sports best.

The kids can’t play at school, and although we can’t sit in an arena, ballpark or in the stands of a stadium, if a live game is on TV we can at least jump from the couch occasionally and root for our hometown or college team.

We want live sports! And we want it now!

Roll the cameras, America, and make it happen.

⦁ Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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