What a great week it has been not only having the NBA return to finish out the regular season but also the start of the NHL Stanley Cup Qualifier joining the MLB and MLS as other team sports to resume play. One thing that has stood out to me and quite frankly that I have enjoyed is having the NBA play their regular season games in the middle of the day.
Now I understand the circumstances have left the league with no choice for 22 teams were invited into the Orlando “campus” to finish out eight games each, especially with only three courts available for these games. Why only three courts? I do not know, and I am sure you as the reader do not have that much interest for me to take an hour of research on this matter. Obviously these games also do not include fans, so I am sure there is more flexibility in scheduling from that standpoint.
Like many people, I have been working from home since mid-March. Sports were suspended at a time when we were two weeks away from March Madness, in the middle of spring training, the NFL Draft a little over a month away, MLS not even a month in, and the NBA & NHL heating up right before the playoffs. Through April and May despite UFC Fights, NASCAR, Golf, and Korean Baseball League, I told myself I will not take sports for granted again. While I attempt to multitask, I am a huge fan of having NBA regular season games during the day. Might just be me, but every day I get that March Madness feel of a No. 8 and No. 9 seed matching up at 11 am that first Thursday of the tournament.
We all will eventually go back to the office and of course, we can all have our fingers crossed that those unfortunately laid off or furloughed will continue their career paths soon. For those involved in the corporate culture before the pandemic, one-hour lunches seemed to be the new standard and I am sure with other fellow millennial coworkers, sit down lunches at restaurants that just so happen to have televisions became a new norm. Even if you have a 30-minute lunch or decide to go to the in the break room, wouldn’t it be great to tune in on the Celtics-76ers from your phone or computer? Some prime revenue for the league for advertising slots between noon and 1 pm if you ask me. Much better than that rerun of the 2006 National Championship Game between USC and Texas on ESPN2. Did not like seeing it the first time and I hate seeing it the thousandth time. FIGHT ON!
But won’t the attendance be poor some may ask? Well first off, I hope “attendance” is a reality at some point in 2021. Look, we have seen sold-out baseball stadiums for Wednesday afternoon games in the middle of July in cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Also, NBA or NHL arenas have been packed to maximum capacity for the NCAA Tournament in the morning on a Thursday. If the league does this correctly with high anticipated matchups on ESPN, there are thousands of people who will take the time to make it to these games. Again, let’s hope thousands can get together a year from now. PLEASE do not put them on TNT, I cannot tell you how many blank stares I have got from restaurant managers, who have the universal remote, when I tell them the game is on TNT. Takes five minutes to find the channel every time. Plus, to all true NBA fans, who doesn’t like wrapping up a good NBA filled Thursday at 11 pm with Shaq, Kenny, Ernie, and Barkley? If you’re on the East Coast reading this, I would like to thank you for finding the page, but you know almost everything is catered to three hours ahead. Let us have a few things go our way.
To the NHL, sometimes I feel very alone trying to spread support out here on the West Coast but unless it is snowing outside the arena, continue the 7:30 pm puck drops. Hockey during the day, especially in California just does not seem right.