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Online sports filling the live sports void

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Whether it’s watching or playing, people are turning to online sports to fill the void left by live sports.

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With no live sports on right now, people are starved for any sports content they can get. So, they’re turning to video games. Whether it’s on Twitch, where thousands of people are following along with Coach Duggs as he tries to take Big Cat and Tennessee to another championship, or if it’s through their own online experience. Video games are filling the sports void in so many people’s lives.

It’s these online experiences I want to talk about. I’ve been playing in online madden franchises, and they’ve been keeping me entertained. Playing the games and making front office moves, such as trades, free agent signings, and draft picks, have been a ton of fun, but the interaction with the other members of the league is what has been the most fun. You try to build the best team, and compete for nothing more than bragging rights(but, really, what else do you need?). Most user matchups are streamed, and it leads to lively conversations in the group chat, and clips of ridiculous plays and reactions.

My favorite part of these is that you don’t even have to know the people that you’re playing against. I play in 3 leagues, and one of them is with my cousin and some old friends, but the other two in which I play, I’ve only met the other players a handful of times, if at all. It doesn’t matter though, because as the time goes on, we develop inside jokes, just like a group of old friends. Only actually speaking when we play each other in a game, or on draft night, which, of course, is streamed so we can clip the best responses, and any potential outbursts from unnamed participants. And you can take it as seriously as you want. Have a ton of rules, or let people do pretty much whatever they want. It’s up to you to make it as fun as you, and your group of Madden friends, want to make it.

For me, I have a blast in all 3 of my leagues, one with 32 owners, a ton of rules, and personally knowing only one person. One with only 4 owners, all in the same division, with 3 old friends. And one with 15 owners, filled with people who I met through twitter interactions, and have grown to consider friends. You get attached to the players that you draft, or sign, and develop. It’s almost like running your own team. One of the things I miss most about sports is the breaking down of plays and decisions by my teams. With this, we’re able to move at a quick pace, and you can break down and talk about the decisions made by everyone.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that I am not eagerly awaiting the return of sports, but I’ve found something that I will be continuing long after sports come back. What’s ironic about it, is that, even though we are separated by this quarantine, I feel a real bond to the players I play with, and that, more than anything has helped fill that sports void in my life. Shoutout to FieldRebooted, the Dot League, and BARF for making this quarantine bearable.

Pat is the GM and coach of the Bengals, Panthers, and defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks

He is also a host of the Patriot Nation Podcast

Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats