With the coronavirus outbreak canceling and suspending a number of seasons, the fate of the 2020 NFL season is still unclear.
It’s been almost a month since the sports world crumbled and cracked thanks to the overwhelming tension of the COVID-19 outbreak. We witnessed the NBA and NHL seasons succumb to suspensions and Major League Baseball delay its Opening Day. Cancellations occurred across college basketball conference tournaments, March Madness, and the seasons for college spring sports.
But what’s interesting is that the NFL regular season is still currently over five months away. Some don’t think this outbreak will last until then, but do we really know anything at this point?
The NFL has moved forward with the free agency period and is set to hold the draft, as both can essentially be done over the phone and through other electronic formats. They’ve also delayed organized team activities (OTAs), which were to begin next month.
The pandemic has greatly affected the league year in such a short amount of time. So with this said, will this act of erring on the side of caution trickle into the summer and fall months, effectively delaying or canceling the 2020 campaign altogether?
April 4 Update:
The possibility of no football this year is a complicated but popular discussion right now. And on Saturday, fans received an update per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Donald Trump also told commissioners that he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September, sources said, though it is currently unclear if medical experts find that to be a realistic timeline amid the current coronavirus pandemic. https://t.co/EFqDryGlTQ
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 4, 2020
Yes, President Trump is staying optimistic in regards to the season start date, believing that this will pass by then. And while remaining positive is usually a beneficial tactic, it doesn’t always mean the long-term outcome will satisfy everyone. Just because he’s saying that’s what “should” occur doesn’t mean medical experts and others in the White House agree.
Trump has to say something like this though. It’s still a significant amount of time before the season’s start date, and taking action now wouldn’t be the smart move. This needs to be looked at as a day-to-day issue. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, next week, month, nor year.
There’s always a time to be a realist over an optimist though, and right now, the former mentality is what’s going to open our eyes to this devastating tragedy. Sure, the league will likely keep the original start date for now. But as time goes on, we should realistically expect changes to be made, and not be surprised if they are.