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I’ll believe it when I see it.
That’s been my attitude for months when it comes to the return of the four major sports. What has happened lately to make me believe we’ll be seeing some semblance of a season any time soon?
Major League Soccer isn’t part of the big four, but the league has been scheduling matches and Sunday’s match between D.C. Untied and Toronto FC was canceled. Not because multiple players became ill with some requiring hospitalization, which would make sense.
According to the league, testing “produced an initital unconfirmed positive covid-19 case for one player and inconclusive test for another player.”
So, a game was canceled because two players might have tested positive for covid-19.
What would the reaction have been if both players had tested positive? Canceling the season?
I saw a video last week of an NBA player getting out of his car in Orlando wearing a mask and then putting on something that looked like a HAZMAT Jr. suit. He had arrived to get ready to play in the NBA’s “bubble” season.
What happens if an NBA player sort of, kind of tests positive the way the two soccer players did? How long should we expect the “bubble” season to last?
And what about Major League Baseball? The Toronto Blue Jays have been trying to get the Canadian government to allow them to play 30 games in their home ball park.
The Federal Quarantine Act requires everyone entering the country to self-quarantine for 14 days, which means they would have to be quarantined for two weeks after returning from any trip to the United States.
That means 30 days in quarantine, and the players found out if they are caught on the city streets when they are required to be quarantined, they could be fined $750,000 and/or get some jail time.
That’s not $750. That’s three-quarters of a million dollars. Travis Shaw, who signed with the Blue Jays in December, said, “We were told two weeks … not all summer … all summer is a bit much.” A little later he Tweeted, “All summer isn’t going to happen. Not an option.”
The Penguins are supposed to start competing for the Stanley Cup in Toronto at the end of July. Maybe they will be allowed on the streets in the middle of August.
What happens when a few players produce unconfirmed positive or inconclusive covid-19 tests as the two soccer players did?
The debate in the NFL is whether to play two preseason games or none. The NFL Players Association voted for none. The owners want two.
Bet on none.
What about college football? SEC commissioner Greg Sankey says his concern for having a football season is, “High, very high.”
The Big Ten and Pac-12 will only play conference games.
The Ivy League canceled all fall sports including football.
So did Carnegie Mellon.
Clemson fans were asked in a poll if they would prefer playing the season in spring to playing in the fall with empty stadiums. The results of the survey will be released next week.
Of all the plans proposed and implemented by the major sports, playing football in the spring makes the most sense. There’s no reason to believe, in the midst of covid-19 hysteria, a football season can start on time or be able to play a schedule without being interrupted.
The USFL and XFL showed football can be played from March until June and fans will show up.
If Ohio State plays Michigan on the Saturday before Easter, more than 100,000 will show up.
More people under 50 are testing positive for covid-19 than over 50. Most younger people without underlying conditions are experiencing mild symptoms.
In Western Pennsylvania (20 counties), two people under the age of 45 have died from the virus.
More than 67,000 members of the American Academy of Pediatricians recommend sending kids back to school as scheduled.
The young people who play sports are in little or no danger if they catch covid-19.
If, eight months from now, we’re still being required to wear masks and stay at least 6 feet away from each other, sports will be the least of our problems.
John Steigerwald is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.
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