By Beryl Rosenberg
With various sports events and seasons cancelled due to the Coronavirus, what are fans doing to stay connected to their favorite teams? Well, major sports leagues including the NHL, NBA, and U.S. Soccer are continuing to provide their fans with ways to keep up with their respective sports despite the separation.
Though the NHL “paused” its season on March 12th, the league is keeping its fans in the loop with numerous events through their “Hockey at Home” initiative. The league is offering countless ways to stay connected to their favorite teams, with multiple events daily, which are listed on their website. These events include Q&As, podcasts, and showcases.
Connor Carrick of the New Jersey Devils is using the NHL pause to start a podcast with the goal of entertaining and informing fans. On his podcast, he discusses his lifestyle and his journey with hockey. Carrick explains, “I do think I’ve always had an ability to understand the game and the breakdown well, and I think the conversation will naturally lean that way.”
One event that fans can watch weekly is the “NHL Hat Trick Trivia.” In addition, players are gathering together virtually to rewatch classic games. All of the live events can be watched on various platforms including NBCSN and NHL.com as well as NHL’s YouTube channel, Facebook, and Instagram.
The NBA is also keeping its fans connected, offering a free preview of its League Pass, where fans can watch classic games dating back to the 60s. They have also launched NBA Together, “a global community and social engagement campaign that aims to support, engage, educate and inspire youth, families, and fans in response to the coronavirus pandemic,” according to the NBA’s website.
In addition, on May 16th, LeBron James took part in an event called “Graduate Together” to honor the Class of 2020. When asked why he wanted to participate, James said,“These kids worked so hard to graduate and what is happening to them is truly unfair.” The event included speeches and celebrity appearances.
U.S. Soccer has cancelled its upcoming matches but is offering ways to stay updated with the men’s and women’s national teams. Classic games are being posted to U.S Soccer’s YouTube channel, Facebook, and website so fans can still watch their favorite players and teams.
According to CNN, two-time World Cup champion and three-time olympian Carli Lloyd says that this time has resulted in "the best training that I've ever had in my entire career." The USWNT player adds, “I'm trying to soak up every ounce of this time because I don't know if we'll ever get time like this, hopefully, we don't ever again, and just trying to make the most of it."
In addition, fans can watch as current and retired players talk with one another on Zoom before the matches. U.S. Soccer is also offering webinars, trivia quizzes, and crossword puzzles on their website.
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