With the coronavirus having put a death grip on the entire sports world, there are simply no sporting events to attend or watch on television. For gambling enthusiasts, that means no games to bet on either.
Simulation sports can help feed the need while sports fans await their eventual return.
2020 Virtual March Madness National Championship
When it was announced that the NBA’s 2019-20 season would be put on hold, the Phoenix Suns decided that wouldn’t stop them from playing out the rest of their schedule. The Suns announced they would play the rest of the 2019-20 season virtually on NBA 2K20. The games can be watched on the Suns’ Twitch channel.
Major League Baseball’s Opening Day was set for March 26 until the coronavirus put a halt on that. Instead of celebrating the opening day of our national pastime, the launch of MLB The Show 20 has to feed our baseball hunger.
It’s the 15th anniversary of Sony’s video game franchise and Opening Day went off without a hitch. Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger pitched seven innings of three-hit ball as the Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 2-1. Francisco Lindor went 4-for-4 with a double.
Even the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals got an opening day win. Max Scherzer, who started Games 1 and 7 of last year’s World Series, struck out 11 in seven innings and Juan Soto hit two home runs and had five RBIs to lead the Nationals to a 10-3 opening day victory.
It’s not the same as the real NCAA men’s basketball tournament, but you’ll find lines on Texas Tech-Florida State and other college basketball games at top online sportsbooks in a simulation of March Madness of 2020. The Seminoles, which would have likely been a No. 2 seed, are favored by three points in a simulated game against the Red Raiders, a Final Four team a year ago.
While nothing beats hearing Jim Nance and Bill Raftery call a game on CBS, we can still experience some of the thrill of victory and agony of defeat watching simulated basketball games on Twitch, Twitter, YouTube, and more.
When All Else Fails
Virtual sports can help us fill the need for competition while the major sports leagues are on hiatus. If it isn’t quite enough to whet the appetite though, there is always … marble racing. What?
Marbula One: Savage Speedway GP - Marble Race by Jelle's Marble Runs
Yes, when all else fails, head over to YouTube and watch your favorite marbles run down a track in search of victory. Click the above video to see what I’m talking about. The races are even called by a guy named Greg Woods, who will likely someday be in some Hall of Fame.
At some point, I’m sure we’ll be able to bet on races in the Marbula One (no I didn’t make that up).
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.