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The World May Change, But Sports Won’t: How Sports Reruns Are Entertaining Quarantined Fans

by Joseph Fracek

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and more and more time passes without sports, some fans may find themselves watching reruns of old sporting events.

Just like weather, the world of sports has seasons, and normally the season of playoff hockey would be staring around this time. That’s something Pittsburghers haven’t had to live without for 14 years.

The absence of playoff hockey led to the Penguins’ TV network, AT&T SportsNet, playing a rerun of the 2009 Stanley Cup run, where the Pens’ defeated the Detroit Red Wings in a thrilling seven game series. It was the first time the Stanley Cup was brought to Pittsburgh since 1992, and for most Pitt-Greensburg students, this win was the first in their lifetime.

2009 Stanley Cup

The Penguins are not the only team to show reruns of their previous feats. The Steelers broadcasted their Super Bowl 43 victory on YouTube, another thrilling championship won for Pittsburgh, one I was fortunate enough to experience in person.

Super Bowl 43

Although it’s been a while, the Pirates have championships to brag about, as well. Arguably the most famous homerun in baseball history was hit by the Pirates, as Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off homerun in game seven to win the 1960 World Series.

Former Pirates player Bill Mazeroski

A beautiful thing about the re-airing of sporting events from the past is how fans can see how the viewing experience of sports have changed over the years.

In football we have watched the game grow from the use of leather helmets with no facemask to the overwhelming (but necessary) rules of player safety today. Hockey and baseball players are now forced to wear helmets when it used to just be a choice. And luckily, basketball players wear shorts at least fingertip length.

The quality of the viewing experience has improved as well, as high-definition cameras capture every angle. A vast difference to the old black and white days.

Another beautiful thing fans can see from the past are how sports were played. The goal in hockey was, well, to score goals. The goal in baseball was to score runs. The goal in football was to score touchdowns. And the goal in basketball was to put the ball through the hoop.

Perhaps sports fans noticed that all these goals have stayed the same. And they have stayed the same through many tragic moments in history, like World War II, Vietnam, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina. Sports will be the same after the Coronavirus pandemic as well, and it is important that fans remember that.

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