Sports fans and broadcasters are trying to cope with no live events during the pandemic

Local News

SYRACUSE N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s been weeks now since sports fans have been able to watch any live games.

It’s why the NFL Draft Thursday through Saturday is being welcomed as the next best thing to a real game, a live sporting event.

“I miss just putting it on at night, like second nature. Putting it on in the morning and looking for scores,” says ESPN Play-By-Play Announcer Jay Alter.

The college basketball season was overlapping the college lacrosse season for Alter when the sports world started to slam to a stop.

“We were on the air doing a lacrosse game that Wednesday, so this is all coming out minute by minute,” he recalls for NewsChannel 9.

That would be his last live game. Fellow Syracuse University grad Jason Benetti never got to start broadcasting real Chicago White Sox games this season.

“Every week we’re doing a simulation of MLB the Show for the affiliate here that carries the games, so I’m prepping for Sox Angels anyway,” Sox Play-By-Play Announcer Benetti says.

“It’s a mad scramble and it’s the kind of thing that if you have talented, resourceful people you can handle these kinds of challenges,” Dennis Deninger tells NewsChannel 9.

Deninger was a longtime Production Executive at ESPN before turning to teaching as a professor at Syracuse University.

“Sports changes with society, we’re so interconnected,” he adds.

Benetti tells NewsChannel 9, “The reason people long for sports is you can very easily sit next to somebody who has nothing in common with you other than the game and the team that you root for.”

They all noted the huge audience the first two episodes of the ESPN documentary series The Last Dance about the Chicago Bulls got Sunday night. Episodes 3 and 4 are coming this Sunday.

The trio also says the NFL Draft will be another welcomed live sports event for fans.

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