Covid-19 pandemic is something no one saw coming. If you told us that a global pandemic would halt everything in 2020 on New Years everyone would’ve called you crazy. Well, look at us now we are almost done with 2020 and COVID -19 is still more prevalent in the states than anywhere else. When the pandemic first started, it felt like the world had stopped. Grade schools and universities were being canceled left and right, and for the first time that I can remember sports just stopped completely. While everyone was quarantined, we all asked ourselves the same questions. When will things be normal again? Now a couple of months later we see normal life slowly coming back to fruition. Sports are back, but they all will be looking different for a while.
Every professional sports league has made its resurgence amidst COVID 19. Every league has done a lot of different things to help and try and prevent COVID among its players in their respective leagues. When you look at the NBA I think they handled this situation the best with the bubble idea. The NBA isolated their players on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. They tested all 346 players constantly and made masks and social distancing. Only being there for a handful of weeks the NBA bubble was COVID free. On July 13th their latest rounds of testing showed that no players had COVID. While the world watched the NBA handle this pandemic our attention then turned to the NFL and how they would handle the virus. With football being a very physical sport and the exchange of sweat and sometimes blood a lot of people posed the question if the NFL should even resume during the pandemic.
We have seen that the NFL has handled training camp pretty professionally. With multiple testings throughout training camp and quick isolation with a positive test when tested. Working through phases to eventually doing full pads and full contact. But the real challenge is how will they attempt to keep every player healthy during the season. The NFL has rules and regulations during the regular season games. Every team’s stadium has the option to have fans or not and that was up to the owners of each team. Only 3 teams said they would allow fans, but only a small portion of them. Just like the NBA bubble, the majority of stadiums will be empty of fans. Fines will be handed out to players who break team protocol and go out to high-risk COVID areas as the season goes on. Fines can be anywhere from 1,000 to 50,000 depending on the severity of the situation
With the kickoff of the NFL season tonight between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs, we all will definitely be watching because it seems like forever ago since we’ve seen some football action. We will also be watching to see how this season will play out and if the NFLPA has the right idea to help keep players and personnel safe this season.