Football is back
FEEL THE GAME - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - May 22, 2020 - 12:00am

Surfing thru the channels early afternoon of last Sunday, I caught a match on TV and thought it was a replay.  Lingering for a while, I realized the game was played inside an empty stadium and broadcast live.  It was around the 70th minute of the game between 29-time German titlist Bayern Munich and Union Berlin.  A welcome change from all the sports re-runs and Netflix movies.

Bayern was ahead 1-0 when I tuned in, the goal courtesy from a converted penalty kick by Robert Lewandowski.  On the 80th minute, French international Benjamin Pavard headed home a second goal and that sealed the fate of Union Berlin. 

As much as I enjoyed the match, the play-by-play commentary was in Spanish.  I searched for other channels doing English commentaries, but it was the only network showing the game that time.  I was amused when Pavard scored and one of the commentators shouted a very long “Goooooaaaaaal!”.  I absolutely was not expecting it but it made up for the silence of the lambs on the stands.   Corona or not, goal celebrations remain the same among the players despite the added game protocols on body contacts.

Next match for the German powerhouse will be on May 26 against an equally strong Borussia Dortmund.  The Bundesliga is the first European major league to open after the virus lockdown and as per reports, it went well regardless of being weird.

The English Premier League could start by the first week of June, also on empty stadiums.  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the government has a program in plan that includes the opening and broadcasting of live sports.  League executives are united in their desire to have the season resume the soonest possible time and finish the remaining 92 matches.  Hopefully, Manchester United will make some noise after being stagnant for a while.

France has banned sporting events until September thus the French Ligue 1 is cancelled for the season.  The Spanish La Liga might return by late June or early July.  Vamos, Real Madrid!  Nothing’s definite yet but Italy’s Serie A could be following later. 

Let’s get used to seeing matches without the loud European fans on the stands.   From where I’m based, the Bundesliga and the EPL are usually played in the mornings and until such time that it will be safe and comfortable for me to get back to work, football could just go well with my morning coffee. 

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