It’s been a while since I looked into obscure and off-beat sports people could adopt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yeah, from what I hear, the NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball have resumed playing. But the problem is, I only hear about it. I haven’t seen anything.
It’s like I’m supposed to take on faith that somewhere, out there, professional hockey, basketball and baseball are being played. But I haven’t personally witnessed it.
Like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster (which, to be serious, has to be Loch Ness Monsters. Since the likelihood of an immortal beast is ... questionable ... there has to be a breeding population), I must chose whether or not to trust those who claim to have seen these sports in action.
Because I don’t have cable. And games on regular broadcast networks are an ever-increasing rarity. And in a rigged system, where the only option where I live is Comcast/Xfiniti or nothing, I chose nothing rather than give another cent to those crooks beyond the $90/month I must pay for online access.
Broadcast technology gets cheaper and cheaper. But the rates we must pay get higher and higher. Hey, when you have a monopoly on the market ...
Then there’s ESPN. The company bid heavily for broadcast rights for many sports, including pretty much all of the college football bowl games. So ESPN charges cable companies more to carry ESPN.
And the cable companies ... well, they’re not going to eat that price increase themselves, are they?
Whatever. Anyway, I see photos and stories in newspapers showing some sports happening out there, in the background, while this pandemic continues to shut down everything but the thousands of people who gather in mobs every night and protest/riot for ... reasons.
But they’re not hurting the battle to contain the virus, oh most certainly not.
So, where was I ... ah. New sport to adopt.
Well, new to me. Somehow, underwater hockey has existed since the 1950’s and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee without my having ever heard of it.
Need to get more, I guess. Or care about something other than football and track and field.
There is a puck, that weighs three pounds. Players use tiny (one foot long) versions of hockey sticks.
The goals are nine feet wide and at each end of the pool. The puck can only be touched with the sticks.
The players, six to a side, must remain underwater and hold their breath while in the “field” of play. And it’s three-dimensional, with the entirety of the seven-10 foot depth of the pool considered in play.
It’s considered a great sport for older people because there is no stress on joints. All players are essentially “weightless” and they don’t suffer knee injuries, twisted ankles, etc.
There is an Underwater Hockey national championship tournament.
So, you see the big benefit here. It’s probably difficult for a virus to be transmitted underwater. And it sounds like one heck of an aerobic workout, which is something many of us sorely need after months of relative inactivity.
* * *
The Eastern Baltimore County Over-40 Baseball League and the Over-60 Senior Softball League have been playing weekly for over a month now.
From what I’ve heard, no one has gotten sick. Just sayin’.
* * *
Another reason to hate ESPN: they’ve been seriously mocking the Orioles, who I head are off to a decent start.
In a preview article, ESPN’s writer wrote that if the Orioles made a run this season, it was proof the 60-game season was a weird aberration that shouldn’t be taken seriously.
In the first team rankings, the Orioles were ranked 30th despite the 5-3 start, with the mocking comment “Oh, look, the Orioles are two games over .500.”
And in the second week’s rankings, the Marlins’ 7-1 start was dismissed with a “they played four games against the Orioles.”
* * *
Hmmmm ... I read the Orioles were leading the Nationals 5-2 after five innings. Then it started to rain and the Washington grounds crew couldn’t get the tarp in place?
Then, with the field too wet to resume play, the game is suspended instead of being declared an Orioles victory, because the delay was ruled to be caused by “mechanical failure,” not weather?
As if D.C. doesn’t have enough of a credibility problem.