How UNO students survived without sports


Jack Hoover

A matchup between Duke and North Carolina from 2006. Game reruns became quite popular for some sports fans. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

From the mid-March until early June, the United States witnessed something almost entirely unprecedented. The cancellation of all major sporting events.

An NBA season that was gearing up for the playoffs had to be called off. An MLB season that was just getting underway had to be suspended. Even college sports, which was getting ready to host its premier event, March Madness, had to take a seat on the sidelines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sports went away at a time when people seemed to need it most. As fears of the virus grew and the country went into quarantine in order to stay safe, something that provided comfort for many in difficult times was not around.

Those counting on watching sports were left with a void to fill in the three-month gap. With the uncertainty surrounding just how long sports might be gone for, alternatives needed to be found.

For some, the void was best filled by reminiscing on the past.

“It was really sad when they cancelled everything but I actually ended up watching some reruns of old basketball games on TV,” said UNO junior Sarah McCombs. “I watched a championship game between Duke and North Carolina from earlier in the year, pre-COVID.”

While watching reruns did alleviate the sports craving in some regard, McCombs admits that it still didn’t fully help.

“It’s not quite as fun, because I knew who won,” said McCombs.

Some people found comfort watching sports games they already knew the outcome to, others found that there were things outside of sports that they could watch.

“I really got into movies,” sophomore Jack McGonigal said. “Horror movies, comedy movies, Disney movies, whatever it may be.”

With newfound free time usually taken up by sports, others used their time to explore new hobbies and interests.

“I wrote stories and started a podcast called ‘The Last Word,” said junior Ana Bellinghausen. “I also went for a lot of walks and runs. I tried to cook things, but that didn’t go so well.”

Whether they were reveling in the past, watching films or trying new hobbies, sports fans across the country seemed to find plenty of ways to survive without their favored pastime.

Now with sports slowly coming back into the picture, fans are returning to the games they know and love. So while sports are hopefully back to stay, it seems safe to say that fans will likely never forget this infamous season without sports.