The Couch Slouch

An update on when all the sports will return

An update on when all the sports will return
Getty Images

According to The New York Times the other day, "nearly every sporting event, major and minor, has been canceled, moved or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic." I did not know that – largely because I have been lying prone on a foam mattress under my couch in self-isolation, awaiting word of life outside – but they are the paper of record, so I believe them.

"The question now, to which no one really knows the answer," The Times wrote, "is when games will come back."

Well, I thought to be myself, if no one really knows the answer, I really have time right now to find the answer. So I got on the horn – that's a late 19th-century expression for making a phone call – and contacted every single sports league and federation.

Here's where we stand:

Olympics. The 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo had been pushed back to 2021. But the Summer Games are now going to push back to 2022, to coincide with the Winter Games – however, not in Beijing, where the Winter Games were originally scheduled. Rather, borrowing from Mark Twain's phrase, "If you don't like the weather in [fill in the blank], just wait five minutes," the unprecedented Summer-Winter twin bill will be in Bismarck, North Dakota, for maximum climatic flexibility.

PGA. The tour returns June 11, with nearly a full slate of events for the rest of the year. Alas, there will be a stunning modification: If neither Tiger Woods nor Phil Mickelson is in the top 10 through three rounds, the event will end on Saturday after 54 holes, and the two golfing icons then will go head-to-head in "The Match" on Sunday. It will be marketed "winner take all," but, heck, it probably won't be.

NBA and NHL. In a groundbreaking compact, the two leagues will converge, with all 61 teams occupying Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Ariz. Originally intended to study the use of closed biospheres in space colonization, Biosphere 2 will be reconfigured to resemble Madison Square Garden and Xcel Energy Center, allowing the leagues to complete their 2019-20 seasons. Unlimited seating is available through Ticket Master and StubHub.

NCAA. Everything in Division 1 sports is on hold, forcing overcrowding in our institutions of higher learning's virtual classrooms online as many student-athletes attend courses and seminars for the first time. Note: Even if college football season is canceled, all bowl games will be played as scheduled, with Alabama meeting Clemson for the national championship.

Horse racing. Taking advantage of the postponement of the Kentucky Derby and the indefinite closure of most racetracks, the nation's thoroughbreds voted, 198,269-3, to never race again. "We're done," 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah said from his stud farm in Versailles, Kent. "If anyone had ever bothered to ask, we would've told them that we hate to race."

UFC. Due to brush back from various localities and ESPN in regard to the wisdom of mixed martial arts bouts returning mid-pandemic – and in case the three cards planned for Jacksonville next month are scratched – Dana White plans to pivot to cockfighting and dogfighting pay-per-view events. Jim Gray has been hired as the sideline reporter.

World Series of Poker. I will host it Nov. 19-21 at my 1,300-square-foot home in Los Angeles. Yes, social distancing will be a problem, but we'll figure it out. In addition, players' $10,000 Main Event entry fee will include a choice of Toni's fabulous pesto-crusted salmon on a bed of wilted spinach or Toni's sublime chicken breast in artichoke champagne sauce.

Boston Marathon. Postponed until Sept. 14, America's premier long-distance foot race will shift the competition to NordicTrack Commercial X32i treadmills at 1,400 Planet Fitness locations nationwide, via Zoom.

NFL. The season actually will start on schedule Sept. 10, with sold-out stadiums. The biggest concern will be proper implementation of former replay rules in regard to pass interference – and potential negative fan feedback – because, now, more than ever, you want to get it right.

Major League Soccer. There are no plans to ever resume MLS, unless five or six people create a groundswell.

Ask The Slouch

Q.Have you considered moving to Georgia? They opened up their bowling alleys last week. (Levi Goldfarb; Temple Hills, Md.)

A. There is a time to bowl, and this is not it; I am honoring the sport with a beer frame nightly at home.

Q. Would you consider MLB's light punishment to the Red Sox in the 2018 video cheating scandal the proverbial "slap on the wrist"? (Jessica Abrams; Portland, Ore.)

A. Actually, it felt more like a "Go get 'em, boys!" slap on the butt.

Q.Thanks for giving us some out-loud guffaws. When did you write for "I Love Lucy"? (Karen Hoffman; McLean, Va.)

A. That was before my time – I wrote for "Here's Lucy."

Q. When the NBA resumes play, will Commissioner Adam Silver mandate that defensive players stay six feet away from offensive players? Oh, wait! (Mike Kupiec; Green Island, N.Y.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!


Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Raners defeat the Astros, 4-2. Composite Getty Image.

Josh Smith homered twice with four RBIs to lead the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday.

Smith had a two-run shot in the first and added another one with two outs in the eighth to push the lead to 4-1. It’s the first multi-homer game of the 26-year-old’s career.

The Rangers won the last two games of the series after dropping Friday’s opener 6-3. They also got a 2-1 victory Saturday thanks to Nathaniel Lowe’s RBI single in the 10th inning.

Jake Meyers cut the lead to 1 with a solo home run in the third but the Astros went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position to fall to 50-46 entering the All-Star break.

Texas starter Max Scherzer allowed four hits and a run with six strikeouts in four-plus innings in his fifth start of the season.

Jon Singleton walked before a single by Jeremy Peña with no outs in the ninth. There was one out in the inning when Singleton scored on a groundout by Joey Loperfido to cut the lead to 4-2. Trey Cabbage grounded out to end it and give Kirby Yates his 16th save.

Ronel Blanco (9-4) permitted two hits and two runs with five strikeouts in six innings. He settled down after his tough first inning and retired the last 12 batters he faced.

Marcus Semien singled to start the game but was out at second when Corey Seager grounded into a foreceout. Smith gave the Rangers an early lead with his towering shot to the second deck to make it 2-0.

Meyers opened Houston’s third with a shot to the seats in left field to cut the lead to 2-1. Jose Altuve singled with two outs and stole second base but Scherzer struck out Alex Bregman for the third out.

The Astros had a shot to tie it or take the lead in the fifth. Peña and Meyers both singled before Loperfido walked to load the bases with no outs in the inning and chase Scherzer. Josh Sborz (2-0) took over and escaped the jam by striking out Mauricio Dubón before retiring Altuve on a pop up and Bregman on a groundout to end the inning.

Seager walked with two outs in the eighth before Smith connected again to give him 10 home runs this season.

Altuve reached on a fielding error by Smith with one out in the eighth before Bregman singled off José Leclerc. Jacob Latz took over and struck out Yordan Alvarez before Yainer Diaz grounded out to leave Houston emptyhanded again.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: 3B Josh Jung (fractured right wrist) swung 15 times off a tee using a regular bat Sunday. Manager Bruce Bochy said he would continue increasing his activity during the break as he nears a rehabilitation assignment.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (neck discomfort) threw a bullpen session of 25 pitches Sunday. Manager Joe Espada said he looked “really good” and would throw another bullpen session during the break.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome