Imagine If This Had Been Played During the Lockdown

It’s one of the greatest moments in sports history.

North Carolina had just tied the game at 74, with 4.7 seconds left.

Villanova called a timeout.

And this video picks it up from there:

As I watched the replay earlier this week, one of my first thoughts was how different this would have been if there had been no fans at the game, if bars had not not open, if Villanova students had not been allowed to watch it from the on-campus gym.

My wife, son, and I ran out of our house and walked up to campus, where you can imagine it was absolute bedlam. It would not have been the same if instead the celebration took place on Zoom.

If anything makes you want to get back out there, surrounded by other people, it’s got to be this video.

I’m not sure when sports will get back to the way they used to be, but one thing is for sure.

Sports has the opportunity to unite us, both literally and figuratively.

Play ball…

29 thoughts on “Imagine If This Had Been Played During the Lockdown

  1. You know by now I’m a sports junkie, so I have a clear memory of this. There haven’t been many times when a buzzer-beater has won the championship. The environment is everything at a college sporting event because of the fans.

    I have a curious habit when I have a strong rooting interest in a game. I prefer to be by myself watching the game in private. On the other hand, if I don’t have a rooting interest, it’s fun to watch a game with others.

    My brother and I went to the Final Four the prior year, and that was a memorable once in a lifetime experience.

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    1. It was a game for the ages. I also prefer to watch sports from the comfort of my home, but I don’t think it would have been as exciting to watch this game from home if there had been no fans at the game in Houston. As you note, the environment at such games makes it even more special. I guess it’s a good thing not everyone likes to watch their sports like we do!


  2. Watching a game at the stadium is much more enjoyable for me. When watching a close, important game at home, I am a nervous wreck. I have irrational superstitious notions that what I do or don’t do at home affects the outcome of the game.😧 At home, I probably could not even have watched the end of the 2016 NCAA championship game if I had been a Villanova or North Carolina fan. I’m also ready to get back to live sports with fans when it is safe.

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    1. I too am a nervous wreck during games like this; that’s why I’d want to be home, and not out in the crowd. And yes, I can’t wait for sports to be back the way they were.

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  3. This is exciting to watch no matter how many times you have seen it. I hope that a return to having fans in the stands comes sooner rather than later. Attending and cheering on your student athletes is a huge part of creating school pride. Both the fans and the players deserve to share their victories and losses together. Great post, Jim!

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  4. It’s very strange watching our recently restarted Premier League games with no crowd noise, other than the shouts from the team benches. But it is even stranger watching with the ‘crowd noise on’ option – it just doesn’t fit the on-screen images of empty stands! But the strangest thing is that it would all have been over a month ago without the virus, and we’d be watching cricket now – it doesn’t start again till next month. It’s weird.

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    1. It is all quite strange, but at least sports are coming back. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it, but I’ve only watched cricket for about 10 minutes my whole life; I had no idea what was going on…

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      1. Indeed, and on balance I prefer it being here, but weird, to not being here. I’d imagine cricket is a closed book to most Americans, in the same way that baseball is to most of us.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hopefully there will be something, even a cut down version. A bit like our cricket season, which is yet to be decided. And Wimbledon would have been starting a week tomorrow – it’s all so empty!

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