Many may be clicking on this article to comment on their displeasure at the idea of this being floated as a possibility. With several states beginning to lift their stay-at-home orders and slowly reopening their businesses, it would seem reasonable that in the words of Ian Malcolm, the NFL will “find a way.”
That being acknowledged as a possibility, the options currently in consideration for leagues like the NBA and MLB to resume this year seem to become more ambitious the more details come to light. For example, the NBA playing at Disney World with players all isolated from their families for the duration of the season is one of the most recent arrangements that seemed viable.
Viable from a disease control standpoint? Sure. Viable from a reality standpoint? Less so.
When it comes to the NFL, similar standards are being spoken about as being necessary. No fans. Players in isolation. Controlled locations. Minimal people present to operate the game.
What those games would be like is an interesting concept all its own that we can hopefully pour over for weeks and weeks as such a reality comes to fruition later this year.
However, what if the logistics can’t be worked out? What if players aren’t willing (as I probably would not be) to be separated from their loved ones for extended periods of time? What if the logistics of transporting teams from other locations isn’t possible? In all likelihood, there are other obstacles that non-health experts like most fans aren’t even considering that may be significant barriers to football being on TV in the fall.
These insomnia-filled nights and social-distancing days give more time to think than perhaps was had previously. For me, my mind wanders about what it would be like to have a perfect fall day with “football weather” and nothing to watch on Saturday or Sunday but re-runs of old games. What would it be like, culturally, to have that absent from the psyche of fans? How many sports bars would close due to the loss of revenue of fans not coming to their establishment to toss a few back while watching the game? What would it mean for veterans around the league who are attempting to outrun father time for one more season before their age catches up with them? What would it mean for players like Josh Allen on a development schedule that suddenly goes on hiatus for a year? What would it mean for all the college players who are going to graduate school but not add anymore tape or development to their game before trying to go pro?
We don’t know for sure. But the wondering isn’t going anywhere soon.
You can follow me on Twitter @NickBat and look for episodes of “The Nick & Nolan Show” podcast on the Buffalo Rumblings podcast network.