Movie fanatics make due with Netflix. Gym rats work out at home. Social drinkers hold Zoom Happy Hours. But what were sports fanatics supposed to do when COVID-19 ruined March Madness and threw a monkey wrench into pro sports seasons?
Safford resident Reyes Aranda, Jr. turned to the Internet.
“Every time I go on social media, I always come across sports highlights and replays,” Aranda said. “I find it refreshing to go back in time and re-live some of the best sports memories I’ve ever had.”
Morenci resident Pedro Moreno is a big basketball fan. He’s been watching previous NBA highlights during his lunch break at JD’s Corner Sports Bar & Grill in Safford.
Shanden Tom heads to the Copper Steer Steak house for food and sports entertainment on the big screen.
“With the sudden halt put on sports, there’s no doubt boredom has set in,” Tom said. “I never realized how much sports impacted the entertainment side of things. Reruns of baseball games, etc., are somewhat a gateway from regular ole sitcom but already knowing the outcome is monotonous.”
Thatcher resident Sharon Halter said she and her husband love watching replays or anything sports-related when they go to JD’s for a drink and some food.
“I love watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship on ESPN and I love the fact that there are no fans in the crowd so you can hear everything going on,” Halter said. I never thought in a million years that sports would be without any fans in the seats.”
When Central resident Steven Hall isn’t doing yard work he likes to head on over to the Manor House Restaurant & Rockin’ Horse Saloon in Safford for dinner with his family.
“I have been watching WWE and old NFL games,” Hall said. “My grandson has got me back into the sport of wrestling, and it helps pass the time and gives my grandson and me something to chat about when he comes over.”
Fans are excited some pro sports are supposed to start up here in the next week or so, but they’re also disappointed some players aren’t returning for fear of spreading the virus.
“I’m a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan, and they have a great chance to win it all this season, but without Avery Bradley, it will be a little harder for the Lakers,” Moreno said. “How can you not respect his decision to stay at home with his family? (Still) I’m just a little selfish, and I want to see him out on the court.”
Pima resident Ryan Clement, 31, used to watch a lot of MLB games at JD’s.
“I love the Arizona Diamondbacks, and was excited to see what Mike Leake would bring to the pitching rotation this season,” Clement said. “Thanks to the coronavirus, Leake will not get a chance to show what he is capable of this season.”