Wednesday’s Podcast: Sports in the Age of COVID-19

What does the spread of the coronavirus mean for sports? We started to talk through that big question on this week’s extended spring break episode of The 252. In our first segment, we briefly discussed the postponement of the Olympics, how the absence of sports changes our perception of the passage of time, and Paul Putz’s essay on the implications of the pandemic for sports-as-religion. (Much more on all of this, I’m sure, in the weeks to come.)

Screen shot of us recording the episode on a Google Hangout Meet
How the magic happens!

But more importantly, we spent time thinking about what the coronavirus means for the study of sports — at least, insofar as that study happens in our Bethel University course on the history and politics of sports. Chris and I talked through what the online version of that course will look like, and how this podcast will become a regular part of our class. Next week, for example, we’ll use the podcast to talk through some of the historical and contemporary issues related to race and sports that students will be reading and writing about in class.

Then we closed with a revised version of our Three to See segment. Without any sports to televise, we’re instead using that segment to recommend three movies, TV series, YouTube clips, websites, articles, etc. that might help us continue to think about and enjoy sports in the absence of actual competition. Here’s the first set:

Chris Moore: Matthew J. Liberatore et al., “Revisiting the ranking of outstanding professional sports records,” Journal of Sports Analytics 2 (2016): 1-18

Sam Mulberry: A Complete Breakdown of ‘The Office’ Basketball Game,” The Ringer, March 24, 2020

Chris GehrzThe English Game, a six-part series on English football ca. 1879 available on Netflix

As always, you can download or stream The 252 from the Channel 3900 page at Podbean, Apple Podcasts, etc. We’ll be back next Thursday with our first regular, class-linked episode. (Which should hopefully still be interesting for non-student listeners!)