The people you're about to read about are like most of us during this COVID-19 pandemic.
They all love sports.
They all miss sports.
And they are all longing for its return.
The sports staff at The Advocate and Times-Picayune caught up with six people to tell their stories about how they have coped for the past 11 weeks without watching and being a part of the games we all so dearly love.
Longtime LSU fan
Chrystal Musgrove struggled to remember the last time she missed a home LSU football game. Then the answer popped into her mind: She didn’t attend the Arkansas game last year because she was in Jamaica with her family, watching the LSU men’s basketball team.
Musgrove, a 73-year-old retired schoolteacher in Baton Rouge, spends most of her free time at LSU sporting events. She goes to almost every home football, men’s basketball and baseball game, often walking from one stadium to another.
Musgrove follows the teams to many away games, too. She has seen every stadium in the Southeastern Conference. She went to Green Bay for the LSU-Wisconsin game a few years ago. She watched a baseball series in California.
“God knew exactly what he was doing when he put me right here,” Musgrove said.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken Musgrove’s favorite pastime from her. She can’t watch the Tigers, visit with old friends around the stadiums or stand up to sing “Callin’ Baton Rouge” before first pitch at Alex Box Stadium.
She longs for the atmosphere on gamedays. She misses the fans, the coaches’ wives and concessions workers.
“I've had several people call to check on me,” Musgroves said, “to make sure I was doing OK since baseball was canceled and basketball tournaments were canceled.”
Musgrove has attended LSU sporting events since her childhood. She watched Pete Maravich’s freshman games, bought season tickets once she graduated from LSU in 1969 and knows it takes less than 10 minutes to drive from her house to Tiger Stadium.
For years, Musgrove tailgated before football games with her husband, Larry, and their children. When Larry died 20 years ago, LSU sports and the school’s fan base helped her get through the hardest days. Fans asked Musgrove to join their meals, and they offered her rides at away games.
“The LSU sports fans along with the good Lord up above got me through this,” Musgrove said. “They helped me through the grief process.”
With live sports shut down, Musgrove relied on LSU games to get through the stay-at-home order, watching replays on television. To her, the 2019 national championship season never gets old.
Once sports resume, Musgrove will attend the first LSU games open to fans. Asked what she looks forward to most when stadiums reopen, Musgrove said, “Which stadium?” and laughed.
“I'm looking forward to whichever one opens first,” Musgrove said. “I'll be there.”