Familiar names from basketball, football, golf and tennis. They've all been diagnosed with Covid-19. They're the faces of the pandemic in sports. And those are only the ones we know about...the ones who were outed.
How about these:
Ten reported cases in the National Hockey League.
Forty reported cases in Major League Baseball.
And it's not just in professional sports. How about college football:
Twenty-three cases at Clemson
Twelve at LSU
Six at the University of Houston
Thirteen at Texas
The major sports have been making plans to either start or continue their seasons. Baseball, basketball and hockey all look to get practices started shortly with games started at the end of July. Reality or pipe dreams? If you can't control the virus while the world is under quarantine conditions, how will you be able to do it when the athletes are in close quarters? How can you keep your locker room safe? How do you avoid contact in sports where contact is an integral part of the game? If an individual game like golf, where it's easier to keep social distancing, is having problems with Covid-19 outbreaks among it's players and caddies, what chance does basketball or hockey have to keep their athletes safe?
There's been lots of talk of basketball bubbles and hockey hub cities, but how secure will these facilities really be? Yesterday we heard about positive tests for Brogdon and Parker, but both have said they plan to join the bubble in Orlando. What could possibly go wrong with that?
Plus, what about the games and competition themselves? What if any of the major names get infected? What if half a team gets it? How about if a hockey team loses both their goalies to the virus? When football begins, what will occur when some team loses it's starting quarterback and he also infects his backup? Will all teams keep a third quarterback in a separate room as a precaution? So many complication, so few answers.
And don't get me started about how colleges are going to put their student-athletes, who are not getting paid, at risk so the institution can make money!
Money is the keyword to all of this. Teams and players are both losing it in bunches if the games aren't played. It's understandable that all sides want to cut their losses as much as possible. But how much more would they lose if they get started and can't play more than a few games, much less finish the year.
And how devastating would it be to any sport if someone died?!
Look, I miss sports as much as anyone. I'm tired of watching game shows to fill the time I would normally devote to some sport. I'm tired of watching games from ten years ago that I didn't care that much about back then. Having sports back would also give out a signal that life is getting back to normal, but it would be a false signal. We are far from being back to normal. We're seeing spikes in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. The national numbers are the worst they've been in more than two months. The outcomes that could go wrong are much worse than good feelings we'll get from seeing our favorite team and athletes play. It's just not the time to start playing games....not yet.
I can wait until 2021. Another few months won't kill me or anyone else. I'm not sure we can say that if the games start too soon.
Related Post: Five reasons why college football is better than the NFL
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