Sunday, August 9, 2020

How to live without sports: A list full of things to do to get your sports fix

March 19, 2020
Junior forward Xavier Tillman Sr. high fives fans after a win over Iowa. The Spartans defeated the Hawkeyes, 78-70, at the Breslin Student Events Center on February 25, 2020.
Junior forward Xavier Tillman Sr. high fives fans after a win over Iowa. The Spartans defeated the Hawkeyes, 78-70, at the Breslin Student Events Center on February 25, 2020. —
Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

This. Sucks. 

There’s no other way to put it. There are no sports and we’re all stuck in our homes without them. All of this right as the best month of the year was about to start. For sports fans, there’s no other way to cope with the lack of sports, than with sports. So, what do we do in the meantime, with no live sports to watch? I have compiled a list of things to pass the time with to get your sports fix while we await the eventual return to normalcy. 

Sports shows and movies to watch 

Over the last few days, I have had no idea what to do when I turn on the television with no live sports. Sports movies and shows can be a great way to fill that gap while we wait. 

ESPN 30 for 30’s: Our women’s basketball beat reporter, Devin Anderson-Torrez’s, favorite. ESPN does a phenomenal job with this series of documentaries. ESPN talks to and provides never-before-heard perspectives from athletes and people involved in some of the biggest sports stories in history. For our Detroit sports fans, the "Bad Boys" 30 for 30 on the Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s and early 1990s is a must-watch. To watch these, however, you either have to catch the occasional showing on ESPN or subscribe to ESPN+, which costs $4.99 monthly or $49.99 for the year. In my opinion, it is worth the price. 

Last Chance U: Typically, Netflix sports shows or movies flop, in my opinion. This one doesn’t. Last Chance U takes a look at East Mississippi Community College’s football team for the first two seasons. EMCC takes in many high-profile recruits who have been kicked off their Division I teams, and the players attempt to better themselves and show they are ready to make a return to the next level. In seasons three and four, the show moves to Independence Community College in Kansas. 

Coach Carter: Missing basketball? Love Samuel L. Jackson? Here’s your movie. Coach Carter is a true story about a high school in Richmond, California, where the head coach, played by Jackson, suspends all play until the team’s grades rise and their attitudes get better. This film deals with the individual battles of the players off the court and in their home lives. A great feel-good story to get you through these dark times. 

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story: Need a Cinderella story? One of the best comedies ever, where Peter La Fleur, played by Vince Vaughn, and the Average Joes make a magical run in a dodgeball tournament and have to take down White Goodman, played by Ben Stiller, and the Globogym Purple Cobras to keep their gym open. Can they do it? You probably know the answer. 

The Sandlot: It’s time to fall back to a simpler time in our lives. If you want to feel like a kid again, watch this classic in which a group of young kids battle the beast to retrieve a baseball signed by Babe Ruth — the Colossus of Clout, the Titan of Terror, the Sultan of Swat, the King of Crash and the Great Bambino.

Sports video games 

The usual few hours of my time I spend playing sports video games a week will see a dramatic rise while I am back home. Video games can be a great way to get your sports fix. Take over your favorite team, or a lovable underdog and build them up in Dynasty mode, and it will take up hours of your day before you even realize it. 

NCAA Football 14: At this moment, there is still not a better football game out there. Not just because it is the last college football video game made, but because it has the best mechanics of any football game ever made. NCAA Football 14 has a great Dynasty mode that allows you to be the head coach of your favorite football team and take them to the top. You will have to have an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3 to play, as it is not compatible with the newest consoles, but it is worth it. 

NBA 2K: This is the only new basketball game on the market, and that’s okay. 2K does a great job with its game each year. It is also very easy to pop in and play with your friends online while you cannot see each other. 

FIFA: Sorry, I’m a soccer fanatic. However, FIFA is currently the best and most realistic sports franchise out right now. FIFA has a great online ultimate team mode, where you can play online and create the team of your dreams. The manager mode has incredible depth and might be the best dynasty-like mode out right now. The gameplay is just icing on the cake. 

Reading material 

While public libraries are closing, you can still support local independent bookstores by shopping online and finding great books at low prices.

Sports Illustrated Magazine: Despite the drought of sports coverage, I have confidence Sports Illustrated will continue to provide great feature stories. SI is a monthly read of mine, and now is the time to come back to a sports icon. 

The Day March Went Mad: While we wait until next year for March Madness, read Seth Davis’ story about the best March Madness to ever occur. Davis brings never-before-heard stories of the seasons and matchup between Magic Johnson’s Spartans and Larry Bird’s Indiana State squad. A must-read even when there isn’t a pandemic. 

The Book of Basketball: Bill Simmons is one of the most polarizing sports figures in the sports world, and he can still write a great book. The Book of Basketball analyzes age-old basketball questions and does so with great humor and insight.

The State News: Despite no live sports, we will continue to provide you with coverage and sports stories that will pique your interest! 

Recruit highlights 

One day, sports are going to return. Want to see what you can look forward to? Watch some recruit highlights! A quick YouTube search will find you just about any recruit into Michigan State that you want. Here’s a few to get you started. 

Jordon Simmons: Simmons committed a few weeks ago, even after the passing of the torch between Mark Dantonio and Mel Tucker. Simmons looks to create a heck of a 1-2 punch with Elijah Collins in the backfield. 

Emoni Bates: Want to see the next hoops phenomenon? While he has not decided what his future looks like after high school, Tom Izzo has been hot in his pursuit of this high school sophomore and looks to be the favorite if he doesn’t skip college for the NBA. 

Mady Sissoko: Here’s the next big man you will get to know very well in the coming months. With a massive frame and incredible athleticism, Sissoko will excite MSU fans everywhere when he takes the hardwood next season. 

A.J. Hoggard: Remember what I said about an impressive frame and athleticism? Hoggard is just that, in the body of a guard. With Cassius Winston’s departure, Hoggard will play a big role in the backcourt with Rocket Watts next season. 

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