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Sports Social Distancing 25 Years Early

I was flipping through some of my oldies and I noticed something interesting – that I was drawing cartoons about social distancing and the pandemic issues that sports are dealing with now, and I drew these cartoons 25 years ago!
I used to draw an advertising, sports, comic strip that ran weekly in USA Today across the top of one of their sports pages. This was a strip called “Out of Bounds” that I drew for Sega. The ads were wide and thin. Each one had to be drawn on deadline to be topical with the sports news of the day, and the advertising agency had to approve it in advance, so my deadlines were tight. And each comic had to promote a SEGA Sports product.
What I found interesting, looking back on these, is that my gags were most often about reworking sports so players could play online and fans could participate online, without physical contact. I guess this was just the natural gag, since I was selling game systems, but it struck me funny that I was 25 years ahead of my time.  Here are a couple of examples from baseball and football season.

Of course, those people in the stands are just paper cut-outs.

The more things change, the more they stay the same!

(That Cleveland Dog Pound needs masks and more distancing.)


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