The National Football League in the beginning of the pandemic were sitting in a comfortable spot, where they were set-up with ample time to devise a plan that would prevent loss of games for its own league.
Now with the cancellation of the Hall-of-Fame game followed by all of the pre-season games, the next domino to fall is the loss of regular season games and the massive revenues that come along with it.
Now in a scramble to come up with an effective plan to have a football season in 2020, the NFL has allowed teams to continue with scheduled training camps while adding some clauses for its players to take advantage of covering themselves should they chose not to play during this pandemic.
After being the league with plenty of time before its season was facing lost games, the NFL finds itself being the most unprepared having to now find a way to have a season during the spiking of the Coronavirus around the globe.
The question remains, how are you going to protect 32 teams with 80 players and more than 25 coaches and staff members, while they travel for games and being tested for the virus only once a week.
This seems impossible to accomplish and it’s only a matter of time before teams have massive breakouts of the highly contagious virus. Keeping in mind each player and coach and staff member will be traveling to-and-fro from home when they are in town, and in-and-out of hotels and air planes when on the road.
Then to top that the league allows teams to allow fans in the stands, which leaves them the only sport having done so since this pandemic. Not only do you have the challenge of keeping your players and their families safe, they add the even more complexed feat of making it safe for fans.
This would mean more spread of this infectious virus as it would be impossible to fever test at the gates, and even though they are wearing mask it would be naive to believe that each fan would actually keep their mask on through an entire game.
If you have fans then you will probably have concession stands opened, and if people are eating food and drinking then it would be impossible to do with a mask over ones mouth. Thus leaving the opportunity for masks to be off of faces and the virus finding its way through, not to mention that with a large crowed the virus would be more airborne and widespread.
The NFL front offense may need to rethink these quick decisions and find better ways to play its game without putting lots of people at risk and continuing too spread a virus that is probably years away from having a vaccine.
Although starting a season will be a challenge for the NFL, the greater feat will be actually finishing one.
After closely doing the math and trying to grasp this impossible task, it’s more than likely the NFL will be hanging on by a thread and one mishap can easily cost them the entire 2020 season.
Training camps across the league are under way and some teams are in their own facilities and others are in their own stadiums, a sport that requires absolute contact its hard to imagine that this virus would behave and not infiltrate teams even before the regular season.
Its the virus that is in control and dictates how all sports should operate going forward, but the NFL likes to flex its muscles and think no matter what they will be in control and its business as usual, until the virus flexes back like it did in baseball so far.
MLB has had two teams have breakouts of the virus and it’s not even clear on when or where or even how so many on one team caught the virus. It would seem logical that they all would have had to be in the same place at the same time and within less than six feet of each other which violates all of the social distancing rules.
Could it be possible that this could be a case of a false negative test and then that person or persons potentially spread it throughout the team through a practice session which requires lots of contact. As unpredictable as this corona virus has been there are probably so many different scenarios that could cause a team out break, and it doesn’t have to be with someone doing things against the rules.
The NBA has had the most effective operations as they are able to maintain 350 players plus staff in a bubble location, making it easier to fight off a breakout of the virus throughout the league.
The NFL will surely be walking on thin ice trying to keep their season from going up in flames, but whichever way they decide to do so they are faced with greater challenges than all of the sports leagues simply because they house more players.
The more people you have to deal with the more opportunity for human error or circumstances that are out of anyones control, the risk factor becomes so great that you are now gambling with lives just to be able to play a game.
In the end it only comes down to two questions to the NFL, are you truly thinking of the safety for all, or is it just another tunnel vision plan leading only to making money.