Samante: A not so new normal in sports... Back to basics

Game On

I WAS able to catch the opening NBA games in the bubble last week. The players didn't miss a beat in the way they executed their plays. It was indeed a sight to behold after almost four months of no live sports action viewed.

While it was the first time for a pro-league to consider this route in playing games, it is not the case for amateur leagues and tournaments. When I first saw how they conducted the games, it was reminiscent of the SEA Games and the Olympics. Athletes billeted and just going out of their quarters to play their scheduled games. In the local amateur sports setting, we were able to experience the same set-up in the DepEd meets and the BEST Center Regional and National Finals.

Come to think of it; this is not so new as earlier stated. International and local sports events utilize this method of organizing games. We were doing it even before the pandemic got the best of us. The formula was simple in the conduct of these games. Billeting quarters + Playing venue = Games. An exhibit of simplicity but still being able to deliver. Of course, the NBA had to sustain sponsorship mileages, upkeep of home courts, marketing and branding, etc. during the previous normal. In the current normal, teams have fewer maintenance costs for their home courts and less revenue from fan attendance. It is just a pity that these home courts may become dead investments moving forward from this pandemic, given the risk of contracting the disease through mass gatherings.

Having coached in a similar setting in the DepEd Meet and BEST Center games, the only thing we miss during out-of-town games is our family's and friends' support when we play. The difference as well is that we don't get our games televised unless a parent records it for us.

In this current reality, fans are still able to enjoy the games in their own homes, no need to go to the venues to root for their teams. It may be best to invest in content delivery at this point, as I suggested in my previous column a couple of weeks back.

If there is one thing this pandemic is teaching us, it is about keeping things simple, going back to the basics. Stay at home and enjoy the games.


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