A new, deadly virus spreading through the United States like a quiet wildfire. Pro sports leagues and owners hellbent on playing through a national emergency. Uncertainty about when life would return to normal again.

Randy Roberts, a professor a Purdue University, and Johnny Smith, a professor at Georgia Tech, began working on their book "War Fever," about the 1918 World Series and released in March, about three years ago — well before "quarantine" became an everyday verb.

But now, it’s almost eerie how the book, which focuses on how the series was impacted by World War I and the 1918 flu pandemic, mirrors what’s happening in sports today.

“Little did I think that when the book came out, there would be another pandemic to go along with it. So it looks like I was writing a book about today," Roberts said. "It never occurred to me.”

A lot of what has happened this year has, rightfully, been described as unprecedented. But looking back on that 1918 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs — played during a similar period of distress — there’s a whole lot that is similar, too.

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