We are all now looking for ways to fill the gap. There are missions that are both noble (for me: cleaning the loft!) And trivial (for me: filling inexplicable gaps in pop culture through planned binge watching of “The Simpsons” and “The Office”).
We can pretend we’re excited if we can host a cricket match somewhere deep in our channel lineup (I actually reported a cricket match in my day and I still have no idea what’s going on), or if one or the other bowling tournament should happen on our screen.
We are of course lucky enough to live in a time of YouTube. This means that there is no reason to get a cold turkey during this time of sports absence. Some helpful readers, especially Marc Aronin, have suggested what I think is the perfect solution: take advantage of the times we live in, find a full game on YouTube, and watch one per day.
I start with Marc’s tips on how he spent his Thursday and Friday evenings. I support both. The following are also available in their entirety by doing a simple search on YouTube. You will no doubt find others. Hey, it’s not perfect, but what about our world right now?
Super Bowl XXV: Look, if you’re a Giants fan, you can sit back and watch Big Blue play in five Super Bowls (they’re all available) for an entire week – and only one of them will end badly (and since then, this one has been, essentially, before it started, no harm, no foul). But XXV – from Whitney Houston’s everlasting “Star-Spangled Banner” – remains exciting all these years later, even if you know all the details by heart.
LJ’s four-point game: Also known as Game 3 of the 1999 Eastern Conference final, when Larry Johnson’s later 3-pointer (aided by a phantom foul) helped the Knicks beat the Pacers. Noteworthy is not only a quick reminder of what the garden should look and sound like this time of year, but also Bill Walton’s unique game-length commentary, which is an underestimated national treasure.
1985 NCAA Championship Game: You may have to be of a certain age to understand how exciting Villanova 66, Georgetown 64 was, but if you watch this beginning to the end it makes a pretty good sense. The Hoyas show just enough of themselves to get an idea of how dominant they were. In the second half, the Wildcats simply refuse to miss them. Each. At the end of the game, even 35 years later, ask yourself who made all the shouting and you realize that it is you.
1978 American League East Playoffs: The pictures are all timeless by now – Old Man Yaz’s early home runs in front of Ron Guidry, Bucky Dents Homer, Goose Gossage, who shows Yaz to end it. But the old Ch. 11 broadcasts are timeless, from Bill White’s “Deep to LEFT! ”Homer’s call to Scooter Rizzuto, who didn’t even bother to put on an objective mask, his fandom is visible to the world.
Game 6, part 1: That would be the ’86 NLCS, Mets 7, Astros 6. Some called it the greatest game ever played. Here’s everything I know: It’s impossible not to know every detail of the game already. And yet the rousing comeback of the Mets in the ninth and Jesse Orosco in the 16th hardly makes the heart beat faster than on October 15, 1986.
Game 6, part 2: Of course 10 nights later This happened. And Vin Scully describes it like this, forever: “Behind the pocket! It comes through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it! “
Game 7, 1970 NBA Final: From the moment the great Jack Twyman sees Willis Reed come out of the tunnel until the Knicks sprint off the garden floor with their first NBA title, this is a reminder that all the poems we wrote about this 1970s Knicks- Team heard were absolutely gospel truth.
Game 6, 1976 ABA final: The last game ever played in this red-white-blue league, and it offers a rare glimpse of how much fun this league was with two unparalleled players – Julius Erving for the nets, David Thompson for the nuggets – absolutely top notch of their game. Steve Albert on call, a nice bonus.
Super Bowl III: You saw the highlights of NFL Films ad nauseam. Watching the entire game provides insight into the brilliant game Joe Namath played. And all the time it seems the big Curt Gowdy can’t believe what he’s seeing.
Start with these. Maybe we’ll add a few more in the coming weeks. Enjoy!
In these difficult times I am pretty sure that I only need the essentials in life: food, water and @ Super70sSports.
It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that the Johnnies managed to stay between 17 and 15 in a year when St. John’s zero was expected – perhaps less than that – and Mike Anderson’s series of 18 winning seasons in 18 years as head coach maintain. The Utopia Parkway will be light for many years to come.
Joe Mihalich at Hofstra, Steve Pikiell at Rutgers, and Kevin Willard at Seton Hall, are the first to tell you that if you want to empathize with anyone, address it to the players who missed this year’s NCAA tournament. And that’s fair. And it’s absolutely right to point out how much top-notch coaching has been shown across the region this college hoop season. Many coaches at the top of their field.
Instead of a real March Madness this year, I can recommend the newest gem of college basketball poet laureate John Feinstein: “The Back Roads to March”.
Whack Back at Vac
Steven Schafler: I never thought I would say that, but … I wouldn’t mind watching a Knicks game now.
Vac: My kingdom for an indoor lacrosse game. Only one.
Eric Vetter: Pooh. Now we have to stand on the street and shout: “Sell the team!” Sell the team !! ”Instead of Madison Square Garden.
Vac: If I ever worry about the resilience of the New York sports fan in the face of this athletic blackout, the worry is over. You are the best. Each.
@j_ducketts: Can MLB Network simply run a constant loop of the astros that are brushed back in spring training – similar to “24 Hours of Christmas Story” on WTBS?
@ MikeVacc: I know a team that doesn’t mind spending the season in empty stadiums. How about you
Christopher Bogner: The Yankees are so amazed at their recent injuries that I hear they have hired a new medical team – Dr. Howard, Fine and Howard. And you can Dr. Seuss ask for a second opinion.
Vac: Do you remember the good old days – like last week – when this seemed the most pressing stuff in the universe? I miss the good old days.