Sports fans are getting antsy. The COVID-19 pandemic suspended professional sports in the U.S. right as things were about to get good again. The MLB would be well underway by now, as would the NHL and NBA playoffs. Even golf, boxing, tennis, and horse racing will all miss their major seasons—plus, the start of the NFL season in September is up in the air and all sports fans are hurting.
But even amidst the sports drought, there are alternatives for fans to turn to. You might have to look overseas or into the deep recesses of the internet, and it’s not always actual humans playing games, but you take what you can get, right?
Here are some of the best sports-watching alternatives available right now.
NFL Draft, Rounds 2-7
Maybe you missed the first round last night, but that’s okay—rounds two through seven are infinitely more compelling for hardcore football fans. The remote nature of this year’s broadcast makes it a little extra cringey, but it’s still the perfect program to have on in the background while getting some stuff done around the house.
The Last Dance, ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary series
The Last Dance covers Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls, relying on exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the team. If you’re a sports fan, you’re probably already in on it—ESPN reported more than six million people tuned into the first two episodes last weekend. But with eight hour-long episodes left to go, it’s not too late to hop on the bandwagon.
Chinese Professional Baseball League (CBPL)
Missing the great American pastime? Look no further than Taiwan, whose professional baseball season is newly underway. The CBPL has implemented a number of regulations to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including playing games in empty stadiums—although social distancing becomes difficult in a bench-clearing brawl. A number of former MLB players participate in the league, and aside from having to wake up at ungodly hours to follow along, it’s a solid baseball fix for the hardcore fan. You can find a quick primer on the 2020 season here.
I know what you’re thinking—marble racing? I’m over here fiending for the Western Conference Finals and you’re recommending marble racing?
Marble racing is quietly the most exciting sport on the internet, regardless of whether other professional sports are going on. Don’t believe me? Watch a single race and tell me you’re not hooked. Jelle’s Marble Runs is broken down into several divisions, and actually allows users to get in on the action by becoming patrons and sponsoring teams and marbles. Seriously, do not sleep on marble racing.
Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson 2.0
This is still technically a hypothetical in that we don’t know exactly when or where it’ll be played. But Tiger vs. Phil was fun (if a little boring) last time around. Plus, to spice things up, the two golfing legends are teaming up with NFL quarterbacking legends Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Hopefully that’ll improve the trash talk and overall humor—or complete lack thereof—from Tiger and Phil’s last match.