“Sports As We Know It”
Everyone is trying to move forward, but it surely was a strange weekend, and we don’t have solutions to anything anywhere right now.
We are entering Week 12-of the Pandemic in America. Countries, doctors, researchers are working around the clock to try and find the right medical balances in research to a Covid-vaccine.
In the world of sports, where stats are special, these numbers today, shocking. Nearing 100,000-deaths in the last 100-days.
President Trump implores sports to return the their facilities, stadiums, workouts and seasons, even if there is no slowdown of sickness or death. It’s amazing he has time to pay attention to this, considering his tweet to the public schedule, and his desire to play golf as the death toll marches to unimaginable numbers now. .
This was a strange weekend. For the 1st time since the late 1950s, there was no Indianapolis 500 to pay attention to. No ‘Gentlemen-Start Your Engines’…no ‘Greatest Spectacle on Earth’….no ‘Back Home in Indiana’….no ‘Kissing the Bricks’ or ‘Swigging the Milk’ in Victory Circle. I first became aware of the Indy 500-listening on radio, measmurized by a first lap fiery crash that killed drivers in 1955. It felt strange not to have a race.
There was the NASCAR-Charlotte 600, and 4.3-million viewers watched it.
There was Tiger-vs-Phil….Brady-vs-Manning golf, and it was fun at times to hear the verbal gunfire back and forth. An impressive 5.8-million viewers sampled that.
This will be an important week in MLB-baseball, as the billionaires face off against the millionaire, in the Owners-vs-Players debate about how to pay the players when baseball starts up in July. The owners will make a new financial proposal, not for more payouts, not for revenue sharing, but maybe deferred payments of a portion of salaries, to be delivered in 2021 rather than in July.
The NBA is negotiating with Disney World-Orlando, to house a 16-team playoff in a bubble, to start in July, dumping plans to try and finish the season. The massive hotel complex would house, feed, and allow players to workout and play post season games without fans. The NBA would dump the Conference alignments, and just seed teams 1-thru-16 and begin playoff series. Who knows if they would be bet of three, best of five, or best of seven series to start.
The NHL has settled on a 24-team playoff series, in possibly two city hubs…12-teams in the East….12-teams in the West, but the cities have not been chosen, because you need hotels, practice rinks, in addition to the empty main arena. Still to be decided, the structure, with first round byes for four teams in each division, and the need to shorten the ‘play-in series’. Challenging too, getting travel restrictions eased to cross the US-Canadian borders, and getting European players, from infected countries, back to their teams and thru a quarantine schedule.
The NFL is forging ahead, needing to finalize plans to get facilities opened, 90-players in camp, and the testing protocols for probably 150-people a day who would be in camp. That has to happen by late July, if the season is to start in September. They do have the ability to push the season start back to October and play into January, with the postseason into late February, if need be.
The CFL has enormous problems north of the border. Camps did not open, no June start to the regular season, no 18-game schedule, and a request for a Canadian Government financial bailout. They may wind up with an 8-game season and a Grey Cup title game in December in the cold-white-north weather of Canada.
NCAA…Depending on who your Governor is, what state you live in, what college President’s are saying, there is no guideline on what may happen. If students spend the fall in on-line classes, do you still open campuses to student-athletes? They say they will in the SEC and Big 12. They haven’t said that in the Big 10 or PAC-12 yet. And we still have alot of hot spot states in some of college football’s hot spots.
Sports as we know it-very different right now.
A new norm? No one knows what normal will be like going forward.