Martin Devlin: Sport is lacking without the crowds

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 3 Aug 2020, 11:48AM

Martin Devlin: Sport is lacking without the crowds

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 3 Aug 2020, 11:48AM

I've seen the future and I don't like it.

Get used to watching your sport onscreen with piped-in crowd effects for a long while yet

folks. The world is not New Zealand and outside of this country, the virus is still majorly in control.

Today we hear that Victoria has been officially declared a State of Disaster with draconian travel and movement restrictions to be reimposed upon the population of Melbourne. Queensland has banned anyone coming in from NSW while the Northern Territory have done the same to Queensland!

What it means for us sport watchers/addicts is simply no immediate change and none coming anytime soon. Sport will continue as it is without spectators.

And that sucks. In fact, it sucks the very life out of many of the sports I (used to) so love watching.

The FA Cup final was played yesterday. At one-time appointment viewing, this classic Cinderella comp felt as flat as Wembley's near-perfect surface. Thursday morning sees the Championship playoff final the world's single richest game of sport. But again, without a crowd present, it just lacks.

Lacks what you might ask? Everything is what I'd answer. It's hard to explain but essentially it just doesn't feel anything the same.

And please, I'm not having a moan here. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that sport is back. But when I tune in for MLB, the NBA, the football, the cricket, golf this weekend, it all feels a bit flat. As much as the artificial crowd noise works for the lounge, no fans in the stands can't help but suck some of the life out of every sport I've watched since this pandemic began.

My point being, and yes, there is one, is that this is how it'll be well into next year at least. New Zealand is the ONLY place on the planet where we seem to have this thing under wraps. And stupid me but here am I thinking that by year's end it'll all be back to normal everywhere else.

No. Not at all and not a chance.  What we're seeing is what we'll continue to see. Games being played that just don't feel like the real thing.

I don't know what the future of international sport is. But I do know what I hope it won't be.