Sporterberg: Hoping to get back on track

By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer

Everybody needs a pick me up, and probably a status update since we can’t tell what day of the week it is.

Good News:

The Masters, easily the most recognizable golf tournament in the world and one of the top five sporting events in general, has chosen a new date. The prestigious green jackets will be handed out on Nov. 12 with play happening on the preceding three days. Tiger Woods is the defending champion, and he is only three victories behind Jack Nicklaus for overall major wins. The PGA Championship (Aug. 6-9) and the US Open (Sept. 17-20) also received new dates.

The major sports commissioners joined a conference call with President Donald Trump Sunday to discuss the contingency plans each league has. Trump made it clear he hopes that sports can be back by September, and the leaders of each respective sport are hopeful they can oblige.

Finally, last week the NCAA did the first good thing in its existence. Spring athletes, including baseball players, softball athletes and track stars, will all get another year of eligibility. Collegiate athletes had their lives turned upside down and their careers taken away in their prime, and they deserve a fresh start as much as anyone.

Bad News:

And that’s all the praise the NCAA will get here. It flopped in the second half of its decision as they chose not to provide the same benefits to winter sport athletes. Basketball teams like Baylor, Dayton and San Diego State were all having seasons that ranked among the best in program history, and now they don’t get the chance to finish it off. This was blatantly wrong.

Interesting stuff:

With the absence of real live sports, the community has turned to video games. The Action Network and ESPN are airing NBA 2K to provide some sense of normalcy.

ESPN had 16 players sign up to play against each other in a single elimination tournament. The broadcast was headlined by former MVP and current Brooklyn Net Kevin Durant, even though he lost in the first round to Derrick Jones Jr., the 16-seed. The players were seeded by their rating in 2K, even though they aren’t forced to choose their own squad.

Action Network, a betting site with a large platform on Twitter, did their best to emulate the madness of the NCAA Tournament. Their plan is a simulated one-on-one bloodbath with 64 players seeded by their rating in the game. The matchups are aired live on their Twitter feed, and they provide odds on their website.