Closets filled with memorabilia of how life once was in sports stadiums- the freebie tee shirts, signed jerseys, and we can’t forget about the home run baseballs so many people run to collect. All of these memories don’t remind me of the team we played against, nor do they remind me if we even won that night, rather they are a part of something way larger than that. Looking at that smudged baseball with the stitches half ripped takes me back to sprinting with my cousin at the age of eight to see who could get there faster to retrieve the ball; or the free tee shirt I wear takes me back to sitting at the court with all of my favorite people, enjoying a beverage and laughing.
When I think of sports, I feel a love that burns deep inside of me. No, not just because I am a diehard fan of the team, but because of the thousands of great memories I have had sitting as in the stadiums cheering them on. “Take me out to the ball game” always had a way of making me feel better, but will it hold the same weight now?
COVID hit the sports industry like a bus and took away everything sports fans held so near and dear to their hearts. The blackout days in sports- players getting pulled off the field to find out they had the virus, fans kicked out of stadiums with no date of return, and most importantly sports overall were canceled one by one. Drinking a cold one at the stadium was not possible in these times and still isn’t as of today. The feeling of togetherness that the sports world gave us was overwhelmingly shattered- leaving the most difficult task to be trying to piece the puzzle together again on how to unite all fans in a different way.
Although being united holds a completely different meaning nowadays, how can the stadiums connect all fans in attendance? As I sat in the March Madness tournament with all of my Michigan gear on, chanting "HAIL TO THE VICTORS!" something was missing- the student section where all students could gather, stand, chant, and jump around was nowhere to be found.
Rather, I witnessed students scattered across the gymnasium like little dots all wishing for one thing (besides a win)- normalcy. Being in a stadium brought back all of the feelings I had missed and intensified them by x10. The surreal feeling of being back is something that can never be explained; seeing how excited everyone was, even though separated, reassures me that when stadiums re-open and we start heading back to "normal" everyone is going to bring the energy that we are longing for. Post-Covid is going to bring high energy fans out and bring sports to life more than ever. Our memories of what the ballpark used to look like to us will be lived once again- one step at a time we are moving in the right direction.
What have you missed the most?
Playing The Field is a sports themed matchmaking app that helps sports fans find new friends, game buddies, teammates, their most valuable partners or MVP. Sign up for our beta with the link above or pre-register for our app launch in the email field below. We will all be back at the park soon and now there is an easier way to find others fans to go with. You Can't Have A Team Without A Mate!