by: J Cowie
Take a page out of the NBA’s playbook Commissioner Goodell. The bubble, as of this point, is the only viable means forward in pursuing a season uninterrupted by Covid-19. Of course, accomplishing such a feat would have to be a little bit more elaborate than the NBA’s compromise to play in Orlando, because of the greater number of personnel involved, but completely doable in my opinion.
Here me out. Thirty-two teams. Two conferences. The potential for four regions of the continental U.S. to be used: East, West, South and Midwest/North. From there, AFC and NFC teams situated on either ends of the coast with one neighboring the Great Lakes and the other Mexico would be able to compete with minimal travel involved. From there, teams from each conference that share a division would then be able to compete amongst each other for almost a third of the season. Once every team has played each other at least once, that’s when air travel is necessary. One conference from each division can stay while the other moves, in constantly monitored packs, to the other quarantined regions of the country. That was a mouth full, but simplistic by design if not missing the logistical means of getting it all done.
Again, this routine of gameplay is not ideal, but it’s an inspired suggestion, that’s been thought out to some degree more than the NFL already has done thus far, aside from constant testing. It’s baffling that the NHL and NBA have been the only two sports leagues to implement changes that reflect the current state of the world, particularly here in the U.S.
While the MLB did make some changes to their already condensed season, it’s worth a note that even with crowdless stadiums (full of cardboard cut-outs) and constant testing, that still hasn’t stopped some players on some teams to use the thick-headed logic of many brash virus dismissers. Many Miami Marlins players and personnel have now tested positive for the virus according to an MLB investigation, which included bar visits on a road trip to Atlanta. And now their season has been temporarily postponed. It’s safe to say that the MLB doesn’t have a handle on things. And when a team like the Marlins goes rogue and decides to fly up and play Philadelphia despite knowing about an internal outbreak of the virus, that’s when their failure to be transparent becomes reckless endangerment to the rest of the league, its players and to any and all family members and friends involved. It was an unnecessarily selfish act for players and personnel to communicate via group text and decide to play, as if that should have been up for debate, knowing what they knew.
The writing is on the wall Commissioner Goodell. Adapt or die. The MLB’s laissez-faire approach to mitigate virus vulnerability has already, not even a week into the season, led to outbreaks within two organizations. If this continues the MLB will have no choice but to delay further action for the whole league, if not abandon the season as a whole. Do you really want that to happen Roger?
For this theoretical bubble to work sacrifices have to be made, in terms of isolation from those on the outside, but that was always going to have to be the case. And NBA players may not care all too much for the “lower-standards” of living in their Walt Disney stay, but for my money, it’s the best you could ask for given the circumstances. And so far it’s been proven to be a success.
All that being said, it’s time for the NFL to embrace the current reality we’re all faced with or we might not see a finish to the upcoming season. Your move Commish. One month left until showtime.