It's a weird time for a lot of industries, but the "doing competitive things with balls for entertainment" industry has been hit especially hard. With sports put on hold indefinitely, its professional community has been robbed of their purpose and identity -- in much the same way we would feel if denied the opportunity to come up with euphemisms for genitalia. Almost immediately, they started dealing with our go-to answer: by shouting them into the void. If you've ever wondered if sports commentators are just doing that in their heads constantly, the answer is: Yes, and it's amazing and it frequently involves dogs.
It seems to have started around March 17, which scientists have determined was six full years ago, when rugby commentator Nick Heath started commentating on whatever he could get his eyes on from a safe distance of at least six feet. As a non-sports person, the excitement of Leggings overtaking JD Sports Bag in the 2020 Crossroad Dash suddenly clarifies a lot of things about why people enjoy large men fighting over a ball.
But the best ones involve pets, like when Colorado Avalanche commentator Conor McGahey called a literal catfight between Siameses Winston and Felix. It involves repeated use of the word "buttpunch," and if that happens in sports, someone should have told me by now.
Arguably the best, because this is now an entire genre whose works can be ranked, is the BBC's Andrew Cotter calling the race between his dogs, Mabel and Olive, to finish their food. It's a riveting journey rife with equipment malfunction, potentially excessive tail-wagging, and a whole implied backstory of a thorny rivalry between the grizzled champion and scrappy newcomer, all in the span of two dazzling minutes.
But the most dramatic is The Daily Line's Michael Jenkins's play-by-play of his elderly basset hound going for a walk, because naturally, he adds a statistical layer to the action. Will she get stuck at the bakery? Will she get tuckered out early and have to be carried home? I won't spoil it, but it ends with a snacky.
I understand that some might literally riot at the suggestion, but honestly, should we even go back to traditional sports? Granted, I've never seen the appeal, but these professionals have proven that even the most mundane activities can be heightened to Super Bowl levels of drama with the right commentary. There would be fewer concussions and just as many advertising opportunities. If there are any corporations reading, act now and sponsor this stupid turtle who has no idea why he's pushing a basketball.
Explain sports to Manna on Twitter.