Yesterday Florida joined Arizona as the second state to resume the activity of professional sports teams with Governor Ron DeSantis, stating, "All professional sports are welcome here for practicing and for playing. What I would tell commissioners of leagues is, if you have a team in an area where they just won't let them operate, we'll find a place for you here in the state of Florida." Now I'm as big a sports fan as any, but I'm also a big fan of not seeing people, including my favorite athletes and coaches, die. So let me be the first to issue this warning to Ron DeSantis. You better keep Gardner Minshew safe.
The only disease that should ever spread is Minshew Mania.
I mean it. Coronavirus better not bristle a single hair on the "Jock Strap King's" glorious mustache, or I swear I'll fly down to Florida and pee in every swimming pool you own. My point is I just don't see how you're going to make this work. Even if everyone practices proper social distancing measures off the field, which is in and of itself a big if, how the hell are players going to keep from spreading the disease on the field?
Football isn't just a contact sport. It's a sport where lineman stare each other down from across the line of scrimmage and spit into each other's mouths. It's a sport where quarterbacks have to press their hands into another guy's swamp ass just to receive the ball. Are you telling me the players are going to have to wear masks? That doesn't seem feasible in a sport where every ounce of breath is a physical necessity.
No, more likely, you'll point to stringent testing guidelines, and an insistence that the players are all young. Except Coronavirus can absolutely kill or put young athletes into a coma and there's still no way to predict who will or won't be susceptible and to what capacity.
I'll even grant you a scenario that you somehow put in place the greatest testing and cleaning protocols in the world. But we're talking about football here. This is a league notorious for hiding players' life-threatening medical conditions in service to winning. A star player on the bench could mean a loss of ticket sales, a loss of opportunities for the player, and even a loss of income for the team doctor. You mean to tell me that suddenly every team doctor, staffer, owner, coach, and player is suddenly going to grow a conscience about the issue now?
Maybe. Maybe they will. Maybe they'll put the lives of each other above the lives of themselves. Or maybe cramming 100 major sports teams into one or two states is setting up a petri dish of sweaty, active people routinely coming into contact with each other. I don't know. I'm not saying making sports safe will be easy. I definitely don't think this is the right idea, though.
So Gregg Popovich just won't be able to coach? Or maybe they'll place him in a protective dome? I digress. You might argue, Governor DeSantis, that I'm not a real fan if I don't want to explore every possible avenue of reopening leagues. I do want to explore those avenues, but I'd argue that you're not a real fan if you'd settle for a solution in which players, staff, and their families could get grievously ill. No one has the answers right now, but until someone does, my hope is that everyone, especially Gardner Minshew, stays home.
Dan is on Twitter and will talk about life with you in lieu of getting a therapist and he also hosts The Bachelor Zone Podcast, where you can hear him give a sports-style breakdown of all things happening on The Bachelor.
Top Image: Royal Air Force Mildenhall