The local sports talk radio guys were talking about potential plans to reopen the major professional sports leagues in neutral site locations where the players are essentially quarantined from the rest of the world. This made me think two things:
- Wrestling is already doing this.
- Wrestling has proven it’s hard to do this without being weird and depressing.
Sure, I’d love to have hockey back, but watching the Bruins in a silent, empty arena in the middle of bumfuck nowhere would be kind of sad, like when they play the Oilers in Edmonton. Doing this right means keeping the camera angles tight and, frankly, getting a bit silly with it. Put the other players in the stands and mike them up. Crank up the in-arena music and add fireworks, lasers, smoke machines, and all the other gaudy bullshit you can imagine to player introductions and the performance of the National Anthem. Shorten the games to heighten the action and get a wider variety of players on the screen. Encourage over-the-top celebrations. Hell, maybe even ignore existing team rosters and let the players themselves put together squads pickup-style.
It’s a strange situation. If sports are coming back before the country’s fully open for business again, they need to get over themselves and embrace that strangeness.
DraftKings, a popular sports betting site, is so desperate they’re pushing wagers on Madden streams, League of Legends tournaments, and other eSports. How do I get people to gamble on which Fire Emblem: The Three Houses character I’m going to make friends with next?