The Maytag repairman was once billed as the loneliest job in the world. That was due to the high quality of their washing machines. Commercials at the time had the character actor, Jesse White, suggesting to the new repairman recruits that they should carry items in their survival kit to keep them occupied during the day: playing cards for solitaire, jigsaw puzzles and beadwork.
Since the onset of the virus which shall not be named, another frontrunner has emerged for the title of world’s loneliest job: The sports broadcaster. The Wide World of Sports being not quite so wide anymore, and with no games, no fans, and no money being generated, this has created quite a problem for the sportscaster whose job is to fill five or more minutes each day with sports news. This is a challenge when there is, you know, actually nothing happening in the way of sports.
Nevertheless, for the past four months, Sportscasters have been beating the bushes looking for news stories. Looking for quotes. Seeking out anybody who relates in any obscure way to sports and can provide a fresh analysis. No subject is too mundane or irrelevant during this time, as long as it in some way ties to sports. If it reads, it leads.
Contract negotiations have been a main subject matter for broadcasters lately. We’ve gotten to hear a daily play-by-play as Dak Prescott, for instance, has attempted to renegotiate his contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Let’s examine it further, shall we? No, let’s not.
Note to Dak: Maybe trying to negotiate during a severe economic downturn when your industry has zero income and dismal prospects for this year is not the best time to bring up how your $175Mill is not enough money for you to not play football. Better to just tighten your belt like the rest of us. Just sayin.’
We’ve had daily updates on the progress of how soccer is being rescheduled. AND volleyball is being rescheduled. And UIL sports. And, and, and… I think we get it. Sports is being rescheduled, right?
There is some entertainment value when the sportscasters interview players on how their “routine” has been affected over the past few months. The entertainment factor is mainly because the question is one that the players are wholly unprepared to answer. Their responses have been no less than rambling utterances about “wide open floors” and how, in the end, having a teammate catch the virus “helped everybody just the same.” Huh?
The lead sports story this morning featured the Houston Dash who won a professional sports championship this weekend against Chicago. The Houston Dash, I learned today, are a professional women’s soccer team. From Houston. And they won a championship. They won it in Utah, in front of absolutely no fans. That is down from their normal-sized crowd of 26.
So, we have signs of life in the sports world that indicate it might eventually be coming off the ventilator. Until it does, sportscasters may wish to brush up on their solitaire skills or take up jigsaw puzzles or beadwork to help with their boredom. As John Steinbeck said, in utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable. How true, John.
Johnny McNally is Grimes County’s Best Dressed Businessman advocating for Grimes County and writes a bi-weekly column for the Navasota Examiner.