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Fauci and football

I hate to rain on your tailgate, but…

The NFL is planning to begin its season on time, but Dr. Anthony Fauci pulled the reins on that optimistic view Wednesday.

“Unless players are essentially in a bubble – insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day – it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said on CNN. “If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”

The NBA and MLS are planning to resume their seasons in July with players in a bubble. So far, the NFL hasn’t publicly discussed that option. A bubble also seems particularly untenable for college football teams on school campuses.

“Dr. Fauci has identified the important health and safety issues we and the NFL Players Association, together with our joint medical advisors, are addressing to mitigate the health risk to players, coaches, and other essential personnel,” the NFL’s chief medical offers Dr. Allen Sills told ESPN on Thursday. “We are developing a comprehensive and rapid-result testing program and rigorous protocols that call for a shared responsibility from everyone inside our football ecosystem. This is based on the collective guidance of public health officials, including the White House task force, the CDC, infectious disease experts, and other sports leagues.

“Make no mistake, this is no easy task. We will make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season as scheduled with increased protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel, and attendees. We will be flexible and adaptable in this environment to adjust to the virus as needed.”

The NFL has maintained that training camps will start in late July and its regular season will begin as scheduled with the Texans playing at Kansas City on Sept. 10.

Don’t anyone tell Greg Abbott or Ross Bjork about this. That story appeared a day before we got stories about MLB and NHL teams closing their training facilities following positive COVID-19 tests. We’ve already seen other stories about NFL and NCAA teams doing the same. It’s more than fair to ask if teams can even keep their own people safe, let alone their customers. I’m as ready as anyone to see my favorite sports leagues and teams again. I just want it to be done safely, and right now the evidence that can be done at this time is not abundant.

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7 Comments

  1. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    My prediction….college football and the NFL will have seasons that last no longer than 1 month, if they have any season at all.

    Neither group will do a hermetically sealed quarantine. Hangers on, people who think Covid 19 is a hoax and staff, family, and assorted insiders will keep outbreaks emerging.

    Finally, its time we talked about the wisdom of involuntary funding of sports by people who dont watch (and now cant participate at all -even as fans) sports as a result of massive taxpayer subsidies by HCHSA, public colleges, and cable/internet consumers.

  2. Jason Hochman says:

    I seem to remember a year in the 1990s when the World Series was cancelled due to a players strike. Never a Super Bowl cancelled though. I recall the strike shortened seasons in the 1980s with some games with replacement players, and some weeks with CFL games on TV. The Super Bowl is too big to fail and will find a way to go on.

  3. brad says:

    Smart money is on Super Bowl not happening this season.

  4. Flypusher says:

    I miss sports but I think this year is a wash.

  5. C.L. says:

    What’s football ?

    -Sports fan, 2024.

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    The university that gave me my degree sent an email that said season tickets are on sale for football, and they expect the games to go on, but there is a refund option if the games are played without spectators or cancelled altogether.

  7. brad says:

    Jason,

    Make sure that refund option is iron clad without fees being deducted. Otherwise you are throwing money away.