The REAL Economic Cost Of Coronvirus: Sports Edition

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Over the past week, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented attack on the very fabric of our society. Our culture has been robbed of its very identity. Sports have gone dark.

In the words of Alan from ‘The Hangover’: “thanks a lot, coronavirus.”

Sure, America has seen its fair share of disasters. But every other time there was one common thread that kept society from falling apart: sports.

Hell, legends were born during these trying times. Case in point: Mike Piazza post-9/11.

Of course, despite a lack of play this time around, the sports world has still managed to provide its fair share of “right in the feels.” Take Zion Williamson (ever heard of him?), a 19-year old NBA rookie, who has decided to donate straight cash homie to stadium workers who are shit out of luck during the NBA “suspension.” And then there is Trevor Bauer who hosted a mic’d up, ‘Sandlot’ charity Wiffle ball game with major league stars to raise funds for MLB and stadium staff. The list of these good deeds goes on and on…

Despite the countless examples of feel-good porn, the financial devastation is astronomical as the $160B sports industry reels. With the NBA season suspended indefinitely, the league stands to lose billions. You see, nearly half of the league’s revenue comes from its $9B TV deal. And it’s not just the monster that is the NCAA that will get crushed by the cancellation of March Madness. University athletic programs, especially non-power conference schools depend on the rev-share coming in from the tourney as conferences are paid out based on how far their respective team or teams (survive and) advance.

But let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we? All of our favorite leagues will be fine (well, maybe not the XFL). Players (should) survive. And billionaire owners probably have bigger fish to fry with a downturn in markets and the broader economic shitshow.

But what will become of us, the die-hard sports fan? We are the real economic victims…

Gambling. All of you degenerates out there will get your fix come hell or high water. But instead of being able to gamble on a sport in your wheelhouse, you’ll be forced out of your comfort zone. The UFC, horse racing and illegal cock-fighting in the basement of the local VFW are the only games in town. PSA: bet with your, not over it… or something like that. Estimated cost per bro: future offspring’s college savings.

Playing the stock market instead. Desperate times call for desperate measures. But emptying your Drafkings account to fund a Robinhood account is the stuff of financial advisors’ nightmares. The markets are acting completely irrationally right now and unless you’re Bobby Axelrod it’s probably not the best time to “test the waters.” Estimated cost to bros: tbh, probably not that much considering you tried to squeeze in a 6-game parlay prior to leagues’ hiatuses and spent the rest of your “funds” on Naturdays and Slim Jims.

Closing deals. Sure, you’re working from home, but sports has always and will always be the go-to conversation starter for deal closers looking to fill time during between dial-in and the start of a conference call. And it’s a well-known fact that sports chatter closes more deals than the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer. Estimated cost to bros: your 2020 bonus check (unless you’re selling hand sanitizer).

Costlier hobbies. Watching sports at all day Saturday and Sunday costs little more than the price of cable (or hacked Reddit live-stream), cheap beer and mediocre wings from the local pizzeria. But what if, during this self-quarantine, you find yourself, wait for it… enjoying things other than sports. And what if those hobbies are more expensive than binging sports? Maybe you’ll begin collective fine art. Or building ships in a bottle. Or drone racing (which sounds kind of cool now that I think about it). Estimated cost to bros: I can’t bring myself to envision a world where this happens.

Divorce or breakup. We’ve all seen the headlines: “Working From Home Causing Breakups!” Well, what about the lack of sports? Taking your talents to the man cave for an early fall, completely pointless, MAC football game has helped circumvent countless fights with your SO. But now? There may be no escape: Estimated cost to bros: according to billboards divorce only costs like $599, so nbd.


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The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.