How are you doing? Are you surviving? That feels like the main objective these days. Trips, events, and even fun feel like distant memories. We're about 11 months into the worst pandemic in a century and just witnessed the first insurrection since baseball was the national present-time. Our medical system (and the good people who make it work) is stretched to the absolute brink. Essential workers keep showing up to combat anti-maskholes every day (Don’t forget to keep tipping heavily).
On the flip side, Trump got banned from social media, so 2021 is already looking up. Plus, vaccines are slowly reaching people's arms. But in the meantime, we have to survive and hopefully find some brief moments of enjoyment in the dystopian future we're currently occupying. I know If I hear one more commercial about Amazon being there for us, then I'm going to go Latrell Sprewell on my Alexa. So, to keep us sane, here's what I got:
- Sports betting. It's legal online in Tennessee now, and the sky is yet to fall (See? It's okay to have nice things). It helped me pass time while I was recovering from kidney stones surgery in December. However, it's important to think of sports betting as an amusement park, not a money-making venture.
- NBA League Pass. Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, the season is on the verge of another suspension. But the league has never had more talent. Combine League Pass with sports betting and you’re in for a solid night.
-Late-night college basketball. At least twice a week, ESPN televises a Pac-12 game. Why is this important? It's not because the conference has any serious contenders. But instead, listening to Bill Walton quote Voltaire or howl at the moon will make anyone smile.
- Video Games. They're super fun to play, but the newest consoles are in high demand. Good luck finding one. If you do find one, holler at your boy.
- Home workouts. I miss the gym. I miss running outside. But we can always do push-ups and core exercises until the cows come home. Judging by the mirror, it's time for me to get back to it.
That's all I've got for getting through this dark winter. If you got suggestions, then I'm all ears. We don't want to end up like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Or Homer Simpson in Treehouse of Horror V. And with so much sickness and death, it's easy to lose hope. I'm right there with you, brother. But if we woke up this morning, then we're doing alright. Let's take a moment to remember those we lost and our neighbors who are struggling, and be thankful for what we have. Then let's find a way to help dig ourselves out of this hole - even if it's just wearing a mask and socially distancing.
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Pat Benson is the author of 'Kobe Bryant's Sneaker History (1996-2020)' which was named a #1 New Release on Amazon. He has covered the NBA for Forbes.com, and interviewed some of the biggest personalities in the sport. Tweet him @Pat_Benson_Jr.