On Sunday, my friend Chris O’Donnell published a post titled “I’m over college sports“. Given the timing, I thought it was due to the fact that Purdue and Michigan held a men’s basketball game after a Purdue player tested positive for COVID-19 before the entire Michigan athletic department shut down for two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak. But “COVID” doesn’t appear in his post at all. Instead, he raises other very valid concerns about the state of Division I sports.
I don’t disagree with any of his points. I suppose I choose to ignore them so I can keep enjoying the games. But not being able to go to games has certainly changed things for me. Purdue football has been a “I’ll watch if I have nothing else going on” thing for me most of the last decade. For much of that time, I’ve chosen to listen to the radio broadcasts while I do something more useful with my Saturday.
Basketball is another story. I’ve had season tickets to Purdue men’s basketball for a long time and am an…enthusiastic fan. I’ve re-arranged my calendar more than once to accommodate going to a basketball game. But now that all of the games are TV-only, I’ve found that I haven’t watched nearly as much as I would otherwise.
I can’t see myself not going back to basketball games once the option is available. But other sports consumption…who can say?