A Covid-19 epidemic on the Baltimore Ravens has already forced quarterback Lamar Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, to miss Wednesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which has been postponed three times.
To avoid NBC’s 88th Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting event on Wednesday night, the game has been moved to an inconvenient afternoon time window.
It’s a significant point. The NFL season might yet go awry with five weeks to go before the playoffs. This is a bad idea for everyone, but the NFL’s best course of action right now is to follow other sports and put clubs and critical personnel in bubbles for 2020’s playoffs.
Physical toughness is a badge of honor for NFL players, who may resort to painkilling medicines to continue playing. The curtain must rise. The players’ safety is in jeopardy this season due to the high number of Covid-19 incidents. This is a virus that will not let you play it.
Playoff bubbles are the greatest way to assure that the NFL has well-contested playoff games and safe players, even though they may be unpleasant socially and emotionally. The NFL Players Association would have to sign off on the proposal. As a result of this year’s success in other sports, the union should not object to bubbles.
A Baltimore-Steeler rematch is surely something the NFL hopes to avoid becoming a farce like Denver’s 31-3 loss to New Orleans on Sunday. Covid-19 blitzed the Broncos’ four subpar quarterbacks, making them ineffective. Denver’s backup quarterback, Kendall Hinton, a former Wake Forest star, stepped in at the last minute and played about as terribly as anyone could have predicted.
The NFL did not have to pay out rebates because there were no fans in Denver’s stadium as a result of the pandemic. However, no one wants to see an NFL team without a real quarterback on the roster. And the Ravens sans Jackson should frighten no one. Due to the NFL’s lack of game cancellations so far this season, it must ensure that the games it does play remain watchable.
Football fans may expect further postponements in the following five weeks, regardless of the outcome. Originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, Pittsburgh’s next matchup with Washington has been pushed back a day to Monday. Tuesday night has been rescheduled to Tuesday night for Baltimore’s next game against the Dallas Cowboys. If this kind of impromptu scheduling persists, the playoffs’ legitimacy will be jeopardized.
The NFL must do everything it can to prevent its finest players from missing games due to the virus, for the sake of those who don’t watch football to gamble or participate in fantasy leagues. Fans may lose interest if there are more snafus like Broncos-Saints.
Drew Lock, one of the Broncos’ suspended quarterbacks, apologized after Sunday’s game for not wearing a mask, which almost probably contributed to the wide margin of victory for the Broncos. It’s imperative not to make mistakes like that again.
With no clear strategy for dealing with Covid-19, the league is as overwhelmed as the rest of the United States. More than 250,000 people have died and more than 13 million have been infected with the coronavirus as of December 1.
The virus is unstoppable by the NFL. It can only hope to keep it under control long enough to collect its $5 billion annual broadcast haul from NBC, CBS, ESPN, and Fox, as well as Amazon Prime’s subscription service.
CBS expects to make more than $5 million for each 30-second commercial sold for Super Bowl LV, which will be held in Tampa, Florida, on February 7, 2021. Additionally, the Super Bowl has a greater TV rating than any other show each year.
More money is lost when games are canceled. Because of this, the NFL has decided to postpone games instead. But during the playoffs, it’s not financially practical or acceptable to fans. Get your head out of the NFL’s sandbox!
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship in Orlando, which cost the league more than $150 million to run and included daily drug testing for all teams, from the initial 22 to the final two.
After a shortened 60-game season, Major League Baseball established postseason bubbles in California and Texas and staged a World Series won by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Some people, including Dodger’s third baseman Justin Turner, did test positive.
A new professional women’s basketball league was born in Bradenton, Florida, in the early 1970s. Cathy Englebert, the county prosecutor, reported no cases of drug abuse. This year’s championship went to the Seattle Storm.
In Toronto and Edmonton, the National Hockey League’s 24-team restart was held in bubbles. No positive tests were found in the final analysis of 33174 tests; one was awarded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for winning the Stanley Cup in 2011.
In Herriman, Utah, the Houston Dash won the NWSL Challenge Cup in the absence of any positive cases among the eight clubs.
The NFL might designate Arizona and Florida as “bubble states,” which would be used for the playoffs in both divisions. Covid-19 hasn’t expanded in those states due to the weather, but rather because they have a good climate.
Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, was able to accommodate around 11,000 fans for each World Series game, and there were no issues. The NFL may even allow attendance to be as low as 25 percent of its normal level.
As of this week, we may be able to get a sense of how effectively an NFL bubble works. The inadvertent test subjects will be the San Francisco 49ers.
Due to a spike in coronavirus cases in Santa Clara County, the 49ers have relocated to Glendale, Arizona, for the next three weeks. As a result, the San Francisco 49ers will host the Arizona Cardinals on December 7 and 13, respectively, for “home” games.
A secret site, probably closer to cacti than nightlife, has been chosen for the defending NFC champs.
A better quality of football may be produced by the 49ers if they mask and follow other safety rules during the week, even though the team has already been beset by injuries to key players in a previously dismal season.
Isn’t it possible that without a playoff bubble, things would be worse? Imagine a Covid-19 breakout on the eve of the Super Bowl, which would necessitate a protracted postponement of the season’s most important game. Neither the NFL nor anyone else should ever want to watch this.