If you’re looking for a hot stock tip right about now, I might suggest any retail company that does a brisk business in televisions. Especially if they sell TVs that allow you to watch a few channels simultaneously.

Why? Well, if you’re a sports fan, you know the Wuhan Wallop has forced leagues and events that normally play and occur during the spring and summer to push back activities until now. Athletic supporters who have been starved for live action games and matches for months now get to condense their cheers and jeers into an appallingly abbreviated period of time. It’s not that We the Sporting Public aren’t up to it, mind you, but it will require intense concentration.

Take a look at this line-up for the next few weeks. The NHL Finals just finished their climactic close. That’s actually good since they serve as a mere warm-up to what’s next. I mean, c’mon, let’s face it. How many of you even knew the Tampa Bay Lightning were facing off against the Dallas Stars? You see my point.

The NBA Finals are another matter. Even those who don’t regularly watch the pro version of the game get into the spirit of the last best-of-seven series of the year. Especially when that LeBron James guy is in the mix. (It’s Lakers vs. Heat for those without a scorecard.)

Tennis aficionados, fresh off the battleground courts of the U.S. Open, are currently turning their attention to the French Open. Again, as one of the sports’ Grand Slam events, this tournament usually commands the attention of a wider audience than normal. Serena Williams’ withdrawal has taken some of the drama out of the proceedings, but can Raphael Nadal add to his dozen victories at Roland-Garros?

The Preakness horse race missed its usual June post time. What is normally the second leg of the Triple Crown is the third test of endurance in 2020. This may not be quite the spectacle organizers had hoped for since different horses won the Kentucky Derby (run in September and not in May) and the Belmont Stakes (run just a little later than normal in June). That probably won’t stop racetrack touts from wagering a nickel or two on the outcome, but it’s really kind of a ho-hum event this year – unless your real enjoyment is seeing the ponies, that is.

Major League Baseball started its elongated play-off season this week. To traditionalists, expanding the number of eligible teams is a total perversion of the pastime. But, then, so too was the Designated Hitter, and simply intentionally walking a batter without having to pitch to him. Some teams that barely won more games than they lost have a chance to make it to the World Series. Which, it seems, will be played when the frost is definitely on the pumpkin. All WS games this year will take place at Globe Life Park, a domed stadium in Texas, so at least there’s little, if any, chance of snow interrupting a ball game.

NASCAR continues to run races every week. Its version of playoffs is also in full swing. For the un-carburetored out there, extensive research shows that 16 teams are narrowed down by 4 over the course of 10 races. The final four-team championship race determines the 2020 winner.

Hard on the heels of all of the above, the Master’s Golf Tournament will be held in early November. Don’t count on many azaleas being in bloom, but also don’t count out the greens-keeping staff in Augusta. No matter what the weather, they tend to make the course look magical every April.

Oh, in case you hadn’t noticed, pigskins are once again filling the air on weekends (and selected weekday evenings as well). Plus futbol. And let’s not forget one of America’s greatest and longest-running contests is also in play-off mode: The Presidential Sweepstakes. Not to mention a Supreme Court battle royale.

Many of these events (and others) are competing with each other now and will continue to do so. Properly viewing everything requires necessary precautions and careful planning. Think chips, dips, and libations. Whereas a sufficient supply of salsa, Scoops, and suds could usually be purchased on a Friday, with Saturday morning as a back-up if needed, we’re now talking about non-stop action. Much as it was during the toilet paper shortage in April, grocery store shelves will probably be barren of peanuts, popcorn, crackers, and a wide assortment of beverages very, very soon.

Hey, what’s an elimination game or a presidential debate without refreshments? The sooner you stock up, the smoother your viewing will go.

Yep. We’re gonna need a lot of TVs.

Bill Lewis is a freelance writer in Marietta. See more of his work at www.wordsmith-at-large.com.

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