Without any sort of sporting events gracing television networks, fans are left to their own devices when trying to entertain themselves in this lowly time.
The world of sports has never looked bleaker than it has today. The NBA would’ve been gearing up for the upcoming Playoffs, a March Madness Champion would’ve been crowned, and the Premier League would be in the home stretch.
The only other time anything or anyone has been deprived of sports in such a way was back in 1996, when the Cleveland Browns owner, Art Modell, moved the organization to Baltimore. Browns fans in Cleveland were left with nothing, as their home team, along with its history, had been ripped away from them.
People would flood into malls and gather around television sets to watch old Browns highlights and observe the countdown to 1999, when their expansion team was to be established.
Shockingly, this isn’t too different from what we are experiencing now as a sports world. The NBA has famously been up on the trend of replaying past iconic games, such as Shaq’s 61 point game against the Clippers, and streaming them on YouTube.
“I think it’s good for passing the time. At least they’re showing something and not completely blacking out.” long time LA Clippers fan Alex Abramovich said.
Bleacher Report has also been doing their own take on this by making custom “all time” squads on Madden for each NFL team and simulating them through a bracket style tournament. With games being broadcasted on popular streaming service, Twitch, this is another outlet for deprived fans.
However, for fans who find themselves unable or unwilling to watch these games or highlights, where they already know the outcome, the landscape seems barren. This is why so many have turned to fan accounts on social media to occupy their attention.
Kyle Dillon runs a Real Madrid fan account on Twitter with over 12,300 followers. He posts highlights, news, stats, and anything Real Madrid related and he’s been in the same boat as larger media companies.
“Since there’s no new content, I just have to post a bunch of throwback videos to keep my followers active…I post the same amount if not more to keep everyone active on my page” Dillon said.
Dillon praises the posting of throwback stats and highlights as it keeps his followers coming back for more. Since the so-called “death of sports”, his account has gained around 1,000 followers and he’s been averaging 1,000 to 3,000 likes per post.
“…maybe because nobody has anything to do. People look for these throwback videos and throwback stats to remind them of soccer.” Dillon adds.
Like the Browns loyals in the years 1996 through 1999, the modern sports world is left with slobbery jowls looking to get our paws on anything that reminds people of the way things used to be.
The role of sports media and fan accounts has become that much more important with this new added task.