IN THIS CORNER

 

We’ll soon need to ask ourselves this question: “What will quench our sports thirsts after the final episodes of ‘The Last Dance’ air this Sunday?”

In what is now regarded as one of the best sports documentaries of all time, the series focusing on Michael Jordan and the 1998 Chicago Bulls has aired on ESPN on Sunday nights for each of the past four weeks.

Its last two episodes will air Sunday.

It hasn’t been live sports, but it’s about as close as we can get these days.

And after it’s done?

The pickings may be slim.

South Korea’s Korea Baseball Organization and the country’s soccer league K-League have already started.

Germany’s soccer league Bundesliga hopes to return to action this weekend. If it is able to take the pitch, it will be the first of Europe's elite leagues to return to action.

The English Premier League, Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga aim to get their 2019-20 seasons back and completed, with hopes those leagues can return in June, if they return at all.

Major League Soccer is also shooting for a return to the field in June, but there is little consensus that will be the case.

NASCAR will be back on Sunday with a 400-mile event at Darlington Raceway that will be held after no practice or qualifying sessions and 70 days since the series’ last laps were run at Phoenix Raceway.

It will kick off an unprecedented stretch of four Cup Series races in 11 days, two each at Darlington and Charlotte Motor Speedway, run under strict social distancing guidelines and without fans in the stands.

UFC events are being held without fans.

The PGA Tour has announced plans to return in mid-June with a revised slate of events through Thanksgiving, starting at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

The 149th Open Championship, scheduled for July 16-19, has been cancelled. Golf's organizers had announced a revamped slate, which also includes the PGA Championship being moved to August, the U.S. Open to September, the Ryder Cup remaining in its original dates and the Masters to November.

As for the NBA and NHL returning, or Major League Baseball finally starting, it’s a wait-and-see approach. Those leagues could possibly suit up in July, or there is a chance they don’t suit up at all.

And the start of the NFL season in September also looks problematic.

(Send comments or questions to jj@thenewstimes.com or follow him on Twitter @jjsmithccnt.)

 

 

 

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