I don't know what to do with myself. If you're a sports junkie like me, you've probably spent the past few days feeling lost and confused as the entire sports world came to a screeching halt while the world tries to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
No NBA, NHL or spring training baseball. No conference tournaments. No March Madness. They postponed The Masters. Even the "anything goes" XFL has shut down. For the next several weeks, there will be no games to attend and no games to watch on our televisions. We're about to enter uncharted territory as sports fans in the modern world. And it sucks, plain and simple.
But we can still find ways to get our fix. We just have to be more creative and resourceful than usual. I thought I'd help my fellow Bulls fans with a few suggestions.
It's the Pecking Order.
1. Listen to podcasts
Have you been meaning to try out a new podcast? Catch up on an old favorite? Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of them as the podcast industry has exploded over the past few years? Now's the perfect time to seize the opportunity!
There are dozens of Bulls podcasts that regularly produce great content for fans. Why not start with NBC Sports Chicago's Bulls Talk Podcast? They put up fresh episodes twice a week. In last Friday's episode, Jason Goff and Kendall Gill react to the NBA shutting down and what it means for the rest of this season and beyond.
How about a shameless plug for Locked On Bulls, as Jordan Maly and I will continue to do five episodes per week during the NBA shutdown. My Bulls Outsiders co-star Big Dave also has his own Bulls podcast called BAWL! on Bulls. It's content gold.
If you're looking for a basketball podcast that will give you a break from the struggling Bulls, check out The JJ Redick Podcast. His latest episode is a fantastic interview with Jimmy Butler.
That's just a few ideas. You can literally listen to basketball-related podcasts 24/7 until the NBA returns and not run out of content. Have at it!
2. Watch classics on YouTube
Did you know you can watch the entirety of Michael Jordan's 63-point playoff performance against Boston on YouTube? Because you totally can. "The Shrug" game from the 1992 Finals? Yup, that's there too. The "Double Nickel" at MSG? "The Flu Game"? Game 6 of the 1998 Finals? Yup, yup and yup. All there.
For younger fans who aren't lucky enough to have witnessed the dynasty years, now's a great time to educate yourself as a Bulls fan. If there's a specific game that you've heard older Bulls fans talk about, and you haven't watched it yourself, go find it and watch it. Enjoy the greatness of the GOAT and some of the best basketball teams ever assembled.
There are more recent iconic Bulls games available to enjoy in full, too. Game 6 of the Bulls vs Celtics series in 2009 that saw a Hinrich-Rondo fight, Joakim's legendary steal off Pierce and coast-to-coast dunk, and three electric overtimes. Brad Miller. Game 1 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals. Taj destroys Wade. Nate Robinson goes Super Saiyan in a 3OT thriller against Brooklyn in the 2013 playoffs. Derrick Rose's buzzer-beater in Game 3 against Cleveland in 2015. It's all there.
3. Read books
Remember reading books? I know, it seems like a *novel* idea. (I'll show myself out.) With all the streaming services and podcasts and Twitter threads, I find myself with much less time to read actual books for the sake of pleasure and learning. But now's a great time to get back in the habit!
Have you never read The Jordan Rules by Bulls legend Sam Smith? Read it and thank me later. Speaking of Sam, he helped Derrick Rose co-author the Chicago kid's new autobiography I'll Show You. It's fantastic. Go read it. I'm also a big fan of Phil Jackson's memoir Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success. Now more than ever is a great time to read Kobe Bryant's The Mamba Mentality: How I Play. If you're interested in behind-the-scenes stories of the world of sports media, I cannot recommend Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN highly enough. I read it start to finish without putting it down.
4. Watch draft prospect breakdowns for lottery-bound players
YouTube doesn't just have classic NBA games. There are dozens of different content creators with channels dedicated to breaking down prospects bound for the NBA draft.
I know that this is a weak incoming draft class compared to recent years. There's no Zion. No Ja. No Luka or Trae. But the Bulls are lottery-bound yet again and now's a great time to gather some intel on which players you'd like to see our team select with the 7th overall pick. (Ya'll know it's happening, just accept it.)
5. NBA Twitter isn't going anywhere
NBA Twitter is the best Twitter. Just because there won't be games to discuss, don't believe for one second that there won't be new threads, debates, rankings and polls to consume on a daily basis.
Now's the time for all of us to get creative. Maybe there's an obscure Bulls or NBA topic of past or present you've always wanted to discuss. Throw it into the Twittersphere and see where it goes!
People will be eager to engage in new and fresh ideas now more than ever. We need the content. Don't be afraid to provide some yourself. That's the great new world of sports media we live in!
Fans have a voice. Use yours. I'm on Twitter 24/7, so come talk to me @Bulls_Peck.
Thanks for reading. See red, be good, stay healthy.
The Pecking Order: 5 things Bulls fans can do while the season is suspended originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago