The Pallilog

The sports world halts for Coronavirus; what does that mean for we the fans?

Getty Images

Friday the 13th. That's just a silly superstition for triskaidekaphobes. If only COVID-19 was so silly. I have said on multiple occasions that the most important variable in sports is the same as the most important variable in life. Health.

So how to go about typing a sports column when the sports world is essentially shut down? Amidst this coronavirus pandemic and the specific fallout of the last couple of days, it's absurd to do nuts and bolts sports analysis and commentary. So I won't do so here, though I very much look forward to embracing the next chance to rightfully do so.

This is unprecedented ground. The 9/11 attacks in 2001 were a giant fell swoop of devastating terrorism. Less than a week later Major League Baseball was playing again. The NFL resumed after one weekend off. Now? An altogether different and open-ended March Madness has forced cancellation of the NCAA Tournament in its entirety. The NBA is on hiatus for least a month. Just two weeks from the scheduled start of the baseball season, we know that that season won't be starting until at least two weeks after March 26. The NHL is temporarily out of business. And MLS. And XFL. And the world tennis tours. And golf tours. The rest of college sports and presumably all high school sports. It's everything.

The Rockets mostly brutal play the last week and a half of games? Big deal.

The Hate On The Astros road show? It'll just have to wait.

Tom Brady's free agent destination? Who gives a flip right now? Next week, different story since the NFL will open for free agent business as scheduled on Wednesday.

I have not seen the 2011 movie Contagion, but it feels like we're living a real life sequel. It's starting to feel like that leading a semblance of a normal life may make exposure to if not contraction of COVID-19 a probability. It is worth noting, or reminding, that beyond the heightened risk for the elderly and already ill (which of course is very serious), for most coronavirus is something to be ridden out. Let the scientists and medical community do their work, and accept some new realities as to how we should lead our lives. As in the aftermath of 9/11.

It's said you can't miss what you never had. Man will we miss sports for however long we're without them. But it's not going to be forever. In the meantime, we can talk, and read, and explore other interests.

Buzzer Beaters

1. It's also said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. That's not always true. But work with me here! 2. Faint silver lining: Say the start of the baseball season is pushed back a month. That consumes part if not all of Justin Verlander's recovery time from his lat strain. 3. Maybe trite to some, but should be true for all: Bronze-The Golden Rule Silver-Take nothing for granted. Gold-Tomorrow isn't promised.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Photo via: WikiCommons.

This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome