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Age of Coronavirus: Living Without Live Sports

Here to Help You Play (Virtually) in a Pandemic

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Above image credit: A video of a bout between a crab and toy robot went viral amid sports cancellations due to the coronavirus (Image | COLDHEALING/Twitter)

The International Olympic Committee has announced that the 2020 Tokyo games scheduled for this summer will be played sometime next year. 

The IOC’s move to reschedule the Olympic and Paralympic games comes as the last straw for sports lovers, who have already suffered the loss of March Madness, a delayed start to baseball season and an NBA campaign on hold as the sports world takes drastic measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

But, thanks to the internet, there is hope. Open your browser and mind to a few live sports alternatives during this unprecedented athletics dry spell.

Relive Super Bowl LIV

Remember when the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl? It still feels weird to say that out loud, so you might as well start filling the sports-joy void there. The NFL recently uploaded the full game between the Chiefs and 49ers to its YouTube page. Trust us, it’s just as fun the second or third time around — to Chiefs fans, at least. 

Want to see what winning Super Bowl LIV was like from the field? NFL Films offers that perspective in its Mic’d Up cut, where you can go under the helmet with Pat Mahomes and the gang. 

Oh, What to Wager On?

Real gamblers will bet on anything. How about the weather?

Without live sports, betting websites like Bovada are turning to whatever is out there, including whether or not it will get above 70 degrees in whichever state you call home. 

Want to stick to sports? There’s plenty of virtual action to get in on, plus prop bets for when each respective league will return to action. 

eNASCAR

Sure, NASCAR gets a bad rap in some circles. But if there were a time to set aside a few hours and watch cars — yes, they go round and round — hit 200 mph within inches of each other, that time is now. 

Plus, NASCAR just might be winning the current no-live-sports sports era. Thanks to iRacing, several of the sport’s biggest stars are still putting on a show for fans — only it’s from the comfort of a simulated race car, kind of like those at the arcade, only way faster. 

The alternative to rubber-to-rubber racing is so realistic that FOX Sports recently agreed to air the complete eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series.

Start your engines.

Streams Are Flowing

Aside from live competition cancellations, ESports is a corner of the sporting realm that remains relatively unphased by the coronavirus pandemic.

Whether you’re a casual gamer or setting out to make a fortune in the booming industry, streaming service Twitch makes playing games for a digital audience or tuning into a favorite gamer’s action available to anyone.

When the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks were forced to cut the season short just ahead of their Friday the 13th matchup, the two NBA clubs called their designated gamers and tipped off via Twitch.

Now, even local news anchors are on board. 

Marble Racing

When live sports hit the brakes, marble racing hit the gas. A viral video of marbles racing across the beach had the internet buzzing. Lucky for us, there is more.

Jelle’s Marble Runs lines up the world’s best glass-blown balls for top-notch competition in the Marble League, Marbula One and Marble Rally. With production value that meets the standard of a “normal” live sporting event, it’s easy to pick your favorite marble and forget about working from home for a bit.

Subscribers to Jelle’s YouTube channel jumped 100,000 between March 9 and March 23. New videos drop every Saturday and Sunday. 

Crab vs. Robot

The UFC did its best to mitigate challenges facing its sport amid the coronavirus outbreak, holding a few fights without fans in attendance. But eventually, even the top mixed martial arts professional league on earth threw in the towel, postponing its next three events.

In the meantime, check out this crab showing a toy robot a thing or two.

https://twitter.com/coldhealing/status/1239987802563059712

Free League & Game Pass 

OK, fair enough. If watching animated cars or crustaceans throwing claws doesn’t cut it, all hope is not lost. 

Both NBA League Pass and NFL Game Pass are waiving subscription fees for the time being so sports fans can get their fill. Turn back the clock and watch classic NBA games with Michael Jordan in action, or re-live the entire Chiefs Super Bowl run from scout-level camera angles. 

How are you coping without live sports? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter (@FlatlandKC) or Instagram (@Flatland_kc)

This article is a part of Flatland’s SportsTown Series: A collection of stories covering the average athletes, niche-sport elites and everyone else dedicated to the games you’ve never heard of, could easily be a part of, and just might want to love that make Kansas City truly a one-of-a-kind sports town.

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