There is perhaps no better month of the year for Canadian sports fans than April. This is the glorious time of year when the puck drops on the NHL playoffs and fans enjoy the first pitches of the baseball season.
However, this year, like all things in life, it appears April has been cancelled. The rinks and ball parks are dark. A recent Sports Illustrated editorial tells us: “According to the experts—medical experts, not the money-making experts in league offices—we will not have sports any time soon. And when we do, we will not attend the games.”
American epidemiologist Dr. Zach Binney baldly states: “We will not have sporting events with fans until we have a vaccine.” Dr. Binney surmises that barring a medical miracle, the process of developing and widely distributing a vaccine is likely to take 12 to 18 months.
So, cancel April. Cancel spring and summer, perhaps the whole year through to next spring or summer.
For ardent sports fans this is very troubling. For young Canadians who play hockey, soccer, or baseball, or participate in sports like gymnastics, rowing, or martial arts, this is both agitating and heartbreaking at the same time. To cancel sports and halt sporting activities is problematic for everyone — and for society.
The Economist this month broached the subject in an article: “The game’s the thing” in which it forwarded that “cancelling sports will dent morale” and that “a solution may be needed.” The commentary suggests the economic implications will be significant because sport is big business, but the effect on consumer sentiment of the hiatus may be even greater. A majority (59%) of Americans are sports fans (and this number would also hold true in Canada). With the loss of sporting events, an important source of enjoyment disappears. Cancelling sports compounds the effect of being stuck at home.
Cancelling sports robs an individual of an essential physical and emotional outlet. John Maynard Keynes talked a lot about the importance of “animal spirits” to economic growth. The Romans understood the importance of “bread and circuses” – keeping the public not just fed, but entertained with gladiatorial games and chariot races. Athens founded the Olympics for its citizenry. Today, people lose themselves in matches of soccer, football, baseball – and, here in Canada, we lose ourselves in our beloved hockey. The Economist concludes: “If all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, then no work and no play risks making Jack depressed and discontented.”
Looking at the next three weeks without playoff hockey and baseball is depressing – and looking at the weeks and months ahead without sports is very dark indeed. As The Economist alludes: a solution will be needed.
At By George, we are offering a quick-fix for the short-term. Through the remainder of April, By George Journal will be celebrating both the greatest game on ice, and American’s great pastime. We hope our followers will be able to lose themselves in thoughts of “the game” and their own fond memories of their team and that past victory.
Each day we will post articles for your reading pleasure. For a regular stream of quotes, photos and articles that are sure to score, we suggest you follow By George Journal on Facebook and on Twitter. Also, By George Journal will issue two newsletters featuring hockey and baseball in the weeks ahead. If you are not on our newsletter distribution list, you can sign up here.
Our ballparks and arenas may be closed, but rest assured here at By George the puck will drop each day.
Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.