• Sophia Hosford

Sports in the U.S. returned, a month ago

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

The buzz surrounding the “return of sports” has been palpable with players gearing up for modified seasons. However, the hype seems to be limited to the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB, leagues that are just now returning to play, or plan to do so soon. In actuality, sports in the United States returned, a month ago. The NWSL’s 2020 Challenge Cup began on June 27th and will conclude on Sunday, July 26th. But, you have likely been so consumed by rumors surrounding the aforementioned leagues, that you may not have noticed.

As a devoted NWSL fan, I’m used to watching every game, knowing every player and knowing just about everything there is to know about the league, so I couldn’t wait for my favorite teams to return to action. Thus, I was disheartened by the lack of engagement from ‘die-hard’ sports fans who have claimed to miss sports. I was saddened that the league was not able to secure a deal to nationally televise each game, but I was ready and willing to pay the $6 on CBS All Access for every game.

The laziness of the sports deprived population to not fork over $6 is sad, especially when those very ‘fans’ will easily spend $30 at a single game, devouring any and every concession in sight. NWSL fans, offering up their own money to pay for your temporary subscription to CBS All Access truly shows the commitment fans have to the league, its players, and its teams. Who wouldn’t want to watch a league that amasses that level of support from its fans and shows off the talent of the world's best athletes?

Yes, the NBA, WNBA, NHL, MLS, and MLB are returning to play, or have just begun, but that cannot not take away from the fact that the NWSL was the first to return, and that they set the precedent for what the return to sports needs to look like. The National Women’s Soccer League, the youngest professional sports league in the United States, has kept its fans, players, and staff safe in a way that every other league should aspire to.

The NWSL has been back, sports have been back, soccer has been here, and some of the best athletes on the planet have been playing a few miles outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Photo credits: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The NWSL Challenge Cup final will be available on CBS at 12:30pm EST on Sunday, July 26th. The Houston Dash will take on the Chicago Red Stars.

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