AFF’s Guide to Quarantine Survival (Part 2): OMG! There’s Still No Sports!
How are we doing, friends? Am I the only one who feels like he’s about to lose his mind?
When this Coronavirus thing started, I thought, “Okay. I’ll swim a little and sleep a lot, and this won’t be all that bad.” But then they closed all the pools — and the gyms! — and shuttered all the sports leagues, and now, almost three months on, here we are. A few restaurants have reopened locally for outdoor seating, and we’ll supposedly be back in the gym — by appointment only! — by the middle of next week.
But that’s about as much as we can hope for in the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is on the verge of seppuku. The NFL released reopening guidelines that Ravens Coach John Harbaugh termed, “Humanly impossible.” Maybe we’ll get an NBA tournament by the end of July, and if you really want to, you can catch NASCAR or Korean Baseball, but mostly, the past three months have been a long, hard slog with no definitive end in sight. Football guys seem determined to will college football into existence this fall, but specific issues remain mostly unanswered while individual states have been all over the place with their individual responses and reopening plans.
It’s hard to see how a nationwide college football plan coalesces out of the current chaos, particularly given college football’s lack of a commissioner or generic central authority figure. But money talks, I suppose. Maybe we let 130 teams do the best they can and hope it all works out?
If I was laying odds, that’s where I’d put my money.
Fortunately, no one’s asked us to solve the world’s problems. Rather, I’d like to ask each of you what you’ve been up to over the course of the pandemic. What have you done to stay sane?
We’ll start, but please, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
— As For Football (@asforfootball) June 19, 2020
Rob Wright, AFF First Captain
The Quarantine Effect, at least as it pertains to sports, has not been as traumatic for those of us that are stationed OCONUS. Why is that? Well, at six hours ahead of the eastern time zone, you are usually asleep when most sports are on. When I woke up for an APFT, the CFP National Championship was still in the fourth quarter. By what now seems a happy accident, this forced a break in my football addiction. I satisfied myself by reading box scores and watching 10-minute game highlights on Sunday for games that were interesting or just very close. This may or may not come as a surprise, but I don’t really watch many other sports besides football…
As for my social life, Germany has been extremely restrictive since the early days of the outbreak. All restaurants across the country were closed. Although they could offer take-out, many didn’t. For a period of time it was even illegal to go anywhere in Germany for non-essential activities, i.e. work or groceries. This was not an Army policy or a local suggestion, it was national law.
My family had trips to Italy and France cancelled and was restricted to within 20km of our home for over two months.
Being quarantined has not been fun, but in some ways it has been a blessing. I binged a lot of shows, enrolled in a masters program, started a nonprofit, and most importantly spent a lot of quality family time.
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) June 18, 2020
John Szott III, Social Media Guru
Man, the sports hunger pangs have hit me hard over the past few months. Granted, having a newborn has taken quite a bit of my attention. I absolutely love it! But, it doesn’t feed my competitive side.
Here’s how I’ve been surviving:
‘The Last Dance’ was a huge part of my quarantine sports experience. If you haven’t watched it already, I strongly recommend it! I grew up in the Chicago area in the 90’s so I got a double dose of nostalgia and competition. Even my wife — not a sports lover at all — enjoyed it for the sports drama mostly centering around Dennis Rodman! Ha!
For college football, I’ve resorted to watching YouTube videos highlighting top plays and games from the past decade. Unfortunately, it only increases the craving for live sports. Beyond that, family games and trivia via video chat is fun, but there’s only so much of it I can take! I’ll take Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride or Betrayal at House on a Hill any day (hopefully soon)!
I wish I could shoot hoops but they’ve removed the backboards from my on-post neighborhood courts so…
Well, that’s what I’ve been up to. While I dream of sports, I’ll probably just watch 12 more episodes of ‘The Office.’
“May your hats fly as high as your dreams.” M. Scott
Congrats Class of 2020!
— As For Football (@asforfootball) June 13, 2020
Jordan Horvath, Marketing Manager
Thankfully, I live in Florida where COVID hasn’t been as bad as some other places in the country *knock on wood*. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on bike trails and at the gun range. I also got engaged in late May, so all the free time I was enjoying has been overtaken with wedding planning. I’ve only just realized how little I care about flowers and stationary weight and how much I miss college football.
I spent quite a bit of quarantine mourning the loss of the XFL. Those of you who know me, know that I am a big believer in spring professional football and was a die-hard Alliance of American Football (AAF) fan and season ticket holder (Go Apollos!). Seeing another league fall apart was hard to watch. I loved the XFL’s business model and overall concept, and I think the NFL and a lot of players could benefit from having a “farm league”. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like we’re going to have football after January any time soon.
I’ve tried to fill the football and general sports void with UFC and Call of Duty. Unfortunately, my significant other despises both of those activities, so we usually end up watching something on Bravo, HGTV, or some other girly network I didn’t know was included in my TV sports subscription.
Did I mention that I spend a lot of time outside biking and shooting guns?
Jokes aside, being engaged is great and having a wedding to plan has helped the pandemic seem less bleak at times. I’ll take my girl over UFC any day.
47th month completed ✅
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) June 17, 2020
Danno E. Cabeza, Senior Writer
I watched maybe two weeks of “classic” college football games, but a lot of those old games weren’t shot in HD and thus looked bad on my television. Plus, knowing the outcomes really killed it for me. We then subscribed to the WWE Network for Wrestlemania, and I watched a bunch of old Attitude Era Pay-Per-Views with my kids. But a lot of that stuff had the same problems we’d seen in classic college football, and anyway, modern WWE bookers have started using Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels the same way Hollywood screenwriters use Save the Cat.
I mean, I love a lot of those old Undertaker matches, but come on! No one needs to see those same story beats repeated by every guy on the roster.
Eventually, my daughter Emma and I settled on All Elite Wrestling (AEW) on TNT, with the added bonus that I’ve been working my way through TNT’s recent movie catalogue as well. I watched Ready Player One last weekend and then Suicide Squad. Meanwhile, my wife and I have been alternating seasons of The Americans on Amazon Prime and The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.
Handmaid’s Tale in particular points up the importance of land navigation. If those two dumbasses had been able to use a map and compass over mountainous terrain, none of the really bad stuff would’ve ever happened.
It was hard to watch, honestly.
With all of that said, this latest news about Baseball has been hard. I don’t know what the future’s gonna bring, but I know what we’re not gonna see, and that’s America’s Game. Ugh. What can you do?
Singing Second by Danny Wild
All-Time Favorite Army Football Photograph
Submitted by @Dan_T_Head
— As For Football (@asforfootball) June 18, 2020
That’s all we’ve got, folks. How are you holding up, and what’s been keeping you sane? We really want to hear from you.