The world of sports is loaded with all kinds of incredible, dramatic stories. Whether its an underdog pulling off an impossible upset or an athlete pulling off unbelievable feats of sustained greatness, there are countless numbers of entertaining stories. Sometimes though, sports are a microcosm of the real world and in the case of COVID-19, they were a major indicator for what was to come.
The latest 30 for 30 podcast is titled “March 11, 2020,” and it tells the story of that date from many different perspectives and how it not only changed the world of sports, but the entire world as a whole.
30 for 30 podcasts hae a dramatic style of storytelling, no matter how dramatic that actual story may truly be. I’m not knocking it. It works. Each new podcast weaves a narrative that captivates its audience from beginning to end and makes them feels things for those involved in the story, whether or not they were aware of that story previously. In this instance though, the story itself holds all the weight any story possibly could and everyone listening at home is, in one way or another, involved in the story in some way.
On March 11, 2020 several parties made the decision to cancel NBA games and eventually suspend the remainder of the 2020 season. While this was far from the beginning of media coverage of the spread of COVID-19, it was, for many people, the biggest and earliest sign that this virus was much bigger than most had previously thought. This podcast examines the events of that date, from start to finish, from a wide variety of perspectives.
In “March 11, 2020,” we hear from NBA players, a doctor, an NBA analyst, a SportsCenter anchor, a SportsCenter producer, a beat reporter, a musician, a news anchor and a governor, just to name a few. Each one of them tell their stories from the date in question and how different the world was from the time they woke up that morning to the time they tried to go to bed that night.
It is incredibly interesting to hear all of these different perspectives. While we’re all too familiar with the situation that unfolded on that day, hearing from all of these people provides more and more context to the day as we listen to what they were going through. We all have our own stories and know what we’ve dealt with in the time since that day, but that’s likely very different from say, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s story, or Scott Van Pelt’s, Rudy Gobert, each of whom we get to hear from in this podcast.
While “March 11, 2020” is very interesting and provides a lot of insight to this new reality, it’s also a very heavy listen. We get to hear all about this new reality from all different angles but, unfortunately, it’s a reality in which we are currently still living. It feels as though this podcast would have benefitted from more time between its release and the date in question. We’re all still dealing with the ramifications of the pandemic and that makes it difficult to get much entertainment value out of the story.
There is no question that this latest 30 for 30 podcast is incredibly well made. As is the case with its predecessors, it provides an incredibly dramatic product that will hold your attention for its duration. The sheer number of insightful interviews alone makes it worth the listen. However, I do feel as though it would have been much better suited for release at least another few months out. I would encourage people to listen to it, but caution those who are still struggling with this “new normal” that it is far from uplifting and can potentially leave you feeling like you have a weight on your chest. Still, when things are a bit more hopeful, it will absolutely provide some very interesting context to a very newsworthy day and I would certainly recommend a listen.