Most of us in Australia might have to prepare for a second lockdown. Melbourne is already there, Sydney is at high risk of suffering the same fate. That being said, how can one make the second lockdown more bearable than the first? For sports fans, here’s are some sports events that will take place between July and September that you absolutely don’t want to miss out on!
Now, it’s technically true that sports events never fully stopped this year.
The continuation of horseracing made national headlines and a new deadlift world record was set (a man lifted 501 kilograms unassisted). Chess tournaments quickly enacted streaming-based contingency plans and various e-sports gained popularity.
Still, much of Australia yearned for the return of the favourites. Cricket, footy, soccer, they were all missed dearly. Now that many of them have made a comeback or will be returning soon, here’s my compilation of the top 5 sporting tournaments to binge during a possible second lockdown.
- The Champions League
As Europe works its way out of the devastating effects of their particular COVID-19 pandemic, so too do many of the domestic football leagues inside it. Yet, Europe’s continental football competition – the Champions League – has yet to reach their quarterfinals. What this means is, in a world almost completely devoid of top-level football, 2020 has truly saved the best until last. Now, big names in football that would never traditionally encounter one another due to geographical boundaries are likely to meet. Messi, who plays for Spanish side Barcelona, could compete against German giants Bayern Munich. Cristiano Ronaldo, of Italian team Juventus, could compete against the superstars of English football team Manchester City. For any Australian interested in football, the resumption of this competition from August 8 is music to the ears.
- The NBA
Earlier this year, the world went crazy with the release of Netflix’s The Last Dance, detailing the career of basketball icon Michael Jordan. Now, with the return of the world’s premier basketball competition from July 31, organised by the National Basketball Association, the game will return with more hype than ever. With all the league’s top players and teams isolating in Disney World Florida, the chance to see ridiculously tall, ridiculously strong athletes justify their million-dollar salaries is an exciting prospect for many. At only 48 minutes of playing time, the ease in which one can watch giants among men like LeBron James, James Harden, or Kawhi Leonard play one of the world’s most popular sports makes it almost too irresistible to pass up for many with little to do.
- Australian Cricket
Okay, cricket has technically already returned domestically (in the Northern Territory) and internationally. Neither of these, however, feature any prominent Australian cricketers or the senior national teams. That return is planned to occur in September, with Australia travelling to England for a much-delayed limited-overs tour. With England already playing international cricket, a lockdown in Australia would hopefully not curb too much cricket in England. It will give us plenty of time to watch our country’s senior men’s team in action. Whether India will follow suit soon, well, we don’t know just yet.
- A constantly changing NRL
Yes, rugby has also returned. But with rule changes regarding referees, tackling, and even rescheduling of matches and the COVID testing of entire teams. How this year’s long rugby season will play out is anyone’s guess. Throw in the logistical stresses posed by potential lockdowns, more possible rule changes, and a Prime Minister who at least partly relies on the sport to fuel his public image, watching the on- and off-field drama unfold will be fascinating to say the least.
- Whatever happens next in the United States
Technically not a sport, but you’d need the dedication of a sports fan to keep up with everything going on in America. Especially with an election in just over 100 days. Gosh, remember how easy we had it in 2019?