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Rodd's Ramblings: Sating the sports fix is a giant task


April 3, 2020

Safer at home, uncertain times, flattening the curve, social distancing ... are all terms that have become commonplace since the coronavirus hit the United States. And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this worldwide situation. I am guessing it won’t be long and there will be a new term for those of us who are sports fans and have nothing to watch, or listen to but events from days gone by.

Prior to the virus pandemic, and arriving home each night after work, I would have dinner and then head to a high school basketball, hockey, baseball, volleyball or softball game. If I wasn’t at a high school game I would head downstairs to the man-den and flick on the television for a professional or college game of some sort. I’d catch a Wild or Timberwolves game, or go out in the garage and turn on the radio and listen to a local broadcast of a high school sporting event. As we all know, that is no longer an option.

It’s a problem for a sports fan. How do you fill the time when you’re used to filling your nights with sporting events?

This has not been an easy transition for me. I don’t play cards, do puzzles, nor am I capable of doing any type of woodworking or building. I’m sure there are a lot of people in the same boat. I also don’t fish.

Short of twiddling my thumbs for six hours a night, I have been relegated to taking walks, visiting with neighbors, actually talking with my wife and trying to find something to watch on the tube. I’ve tried watching Netflix, but I don’t find much there that interests me. Watching the news channels is pretty much the same as watching “ER,” because all they talk about is COVID-19. I have to deal with that all day on my job at WKLK, so the last thing I want to do is go home and become a punching bag for information I’ve already heard throughout the day.

Many of the so-called sports channels have decided to replay “classic” games of the past, or non-mainstream sports. Over the last week I’ve found myself watching darts, croquet, the corn-hole championships, professional wrestling with no fans in the stands and more. None of those sports held much interest after the five-minute mark so I tried to watch the “classic” games. Most of them didn’t excite me either.

At this point I began yanking what little hair I had remaining on my head trying to figure out how to relax and yet enjoy sports. As I sat in the man-den with a clump of hair in my hand, I finally resorted to trying to figure out how to use the streaming device within the television that I got last Christmas. After fiddling around for a couple of minutes, I stumbled across YouTube television. I found I could watch complete games, partial games, just snippets in time of big games, and even hunting shows. The addiction was immediate. Every night I would race downstairs and check out a grizzly bear hunt in Alaska, a great moment in Minnesota Vikings history, an inning or two of a Twins game from the past. The possibilities seemed endless. I knew I had found something to get me through the next days, weeks or months.

In short order, I found out it could get a whole lot worse. My wife and I woke up early Sunday morning to find that the cable coming from the telephone pole in the alley to our home had succumbed to the ice and snow of a spring blizzard. Not only were we without cable, but we were also without our phone and internet service.

Much like the sports athletes who had their seasons abruptly end, my short-lived love affair with YouTube television was cut off. Well, maybe not over, but at least put on a hold until the maintenance crews arrive and fix the situation.

The moral of the story is this: “Don’t take anything for granted, especially your YouTube television, because it can be yanked out from under your feet with one spring storm.”

WKLK radio personality Kerry Rodd writes sports for the Pine Knot News. When there are sports.


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