Watching our favorite teams during the pandemic
ROOT, ROOT, ROOT
for the home team — from home
By SIMON GONZALEZ | Illustrations by WILL JONES
WHEN I was a young man many, many
years ago, my parents gave me a but-ton
that said “Don’t bother me, I’m
watching baseball, basketball, foot-ball,
boxing, hockey …”
It was true. Back in the day I was a huge sports fan. When
I was a teenager, I could name the starting lineup for just
about every pro team in every sport. I knew the Final Four
teams from any given year, the Heisman Trophy winners, the
I parlayed my love of sports and ability to string a few sen-tences
together into a job as a sportswriter in Texas. Over the
next 17 years I covered just about everything — the World
Series, NFL playoffs, high school and college football, the
Stanley Cup, NCAA Tournament basketball games, U.S. Open
tennis, NASCAR, even figure skating and gymnastics.
My fanaticism has waned over the years. These days I’m
only passionate about a handful of sports, primarily baseball
and English football (what most people call soccer, but it is
the original form of football — a game with a ball primarily
played with the feet).
So for me, March 2020 was the best of times. The English
Premier League was headed for the homestretch. Baseball
players were in Spring Training, with the regular season
about three weeks away.
Then came the worst of times.
COVID-19, first announced on Jan. 9, began to spike in the
United States and across the globe. A few cases turned into
hundreds, into thousands. On March 11, the World Health
Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.