I Have No Idea What the Role of Sports Is Supposed to Be Right Now: TRAINA THOUGHTS


1. First things first: PLEASE STAY HOME. I'm not going to rant and rave and lecture. Just please be smart and stay in your home for a few days.

So, here we are in a time none of us could have ever imagined. I have no idea if I should be writing this column. There is the "we need a distraction" cliché that so many people love to use, especially when we have no live sporting events, yet every report you read from reputable experts says everything in the United States is going to get much worse before it gets better.

Hearing that makes me think it's absurd to continue doing a lighthearted column, because, to be 100% honest with anyone reading this, I'm just not feeling it right now. However, I am one of the fortunate people who can do their job at home during this wild time and I'm lucky and grateful that SI has always let me veer into non-sports territory whenever I've wanted, so I can manage without sports for a little while.

The truth is, though, I couldn't do my job on Friday. Anxiety about all that's going on in this country did a number on me and I had to take a day to get myself together. One of the biggest things that helped me over the past couple of days was staying off Twitter. 

I'm not gonna lie and tell you I didn't check it over the weekend. But instead of tapping the blue bird icon on my phone every 2–5 minutes, I checked it every 4–6 hours. If you are like me and filled with worry during this uncertain time about anything from how your elderly parents will hold up to whether you will have a job in a month from now, I'm right there with you. All I can tell you is limit your consumption of social media and news as much as you can, get outdoors as much as possible (but stay away from people), and check in with friends and family and talk about things that have nothing to do with the coronavirus. 

Obviously, you can't ignore what's going on right now, and it would be irresponsible to do so. But don't immerse yourself in it if it makes you anxious.

Since I need to limit my time on Twitter, I'm going to ask you to help me out with Traina Thoughts for a little while. I want ALL your ideas, suggestions, requests for what you want me to cover here every day, for what you want to see—from videos to lists to anything. No topic is off limits. It doesn't have to be sports related, either. It's time to get creative, so throw anything you want at me via email—Jimmy.Traina@si.com. You can shoot me a tweet, but I may not see it right away.

 2. Jazz star Donovan Mitchell spoke to Robin Roberts on Good Morning America on Monday to give everyone an update on his condition. If you're looking for anything remotely positive these days, Mitchell said he's feeling well.

3. So, now we go from all of that to the regular Traina Thoughts fare. One thing I did see over the weekend that amused me for just a little bit was Panthers star Christian McCaffrey dealing with self distancing by belting out a pretty damn good a cappella version of Whitney Houston's classic "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." I'm not sure why McCaffrey's girlfriend, SI Swimsuit model Olivia Culpo, wasn't impressed, but McCaffrey's got pipes!

This is not the first time we've seen McCaffrey show off his musical talents. A few years ago, he treated us to his harmonica skills on Billy Joel's "Piano Man."

4. Since I mentioned Billy Joel and there's no sports right now, I'm posting this tweet from almost a year ago if you'd like to 1) create a great Billy Joel playlist and/or 2) rip me to shreds for saying "Piano Man" is overrated.

5. We need more people staying in and more people doing things like this right now.

6. Here's how one person thinks an episode of The Office would play out if the show were around during the coronavirus outbreak.

7. Stone Cold Steve Austin returns to Monday Night Raw tonight to celebrate 3/16—in an empty arena. 

Like SmackDown on Friday, the WWE will keep the show going, but without any fans in attendance.

8. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Seinfeld. The Bubble Boy. How appropriate right now.

9. SPORTS HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: This will be a new daily feature in Traina Thoughts until we get some sports back. We kick it off with the King, since the NBA was the first sport to shut down. This is still one of the greatest plays I've ever seen.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram