Joe Vardon of The Athletic has written the best piece that I have read to date on the quandary facing professional sports in North America because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s all about the pressure to get back into action, even if there aren’t fans in the arenas or stadiums, because of the need for TV money.
Rodney Fort, a sports economist and professor at the U of Michigan, told Vardon: “If there is ever going to be a comeback, all we have to look at is how (sports) shut down. What was the plan at shutdown? The plan was no fans, play the games. And presumably they were saying that it was because the TV money was such that, even though they might lose money, having the TV money meant they lost less than if they didn’t have the TV money.”
At the same time, Richard Sheehan, a sports economist and U of Notre Dame professor, explained to Vardon how a return to play would almost certainly lead to the deaths of some support staff.
Vardon wrote: “Applying medical theories of virus containment espoused by doctors . . . and tracking the data of coronavirus patients and mortality rates in China, South Korea and Italy, Sheehan said he doesn’t see any way the NBA, NHL or MLB could play this summer.”
This piece is oh, so thought-provoking, and it’s all right here.
The Colorado Avalanche have had a second player test positive for COVID-19. The NHL now has had four players test positive — two from Colorado and two from the Ottawa Senators. . . . The Avalanche and Senators played the Sharks in San Jose on March 7 and 8. That was after officials in that area had recommended against large gatherings. . . .
The NBA’s New York Knicks announced Saturday evening that Jim Dolan, the executive chairman and CEO of the Madison Square Garden Company, has tested positive. He is in self-isolation with “little to no symptoms,” according to the team, and “continues to oversee business operations.” . . .
“British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who on March 3 bragged he ‘shook hands with everybody’ at a hospital with COVID-19 patients, has now tested positive for it,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “On the bright side, though, he’s the slam-dunk favorite for the inaugural Rudy Gobert Touch of Stupidity Award.” . . .
Today’s Thought of the Day from Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, originated with Mark Twain: “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”
And here’s Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post with the question of the day . . .
The 2020 Manitoba 55+ Games have been cancelled. They were to have been held in Selkirk, June 16-18. . . . The Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame has postponed its 2020 induction dinner. It still will be held in Brandon, but has been moved from May 9 to Sept. 19. . . .
There still is some hockey being played in this world of ours . . .
Headline at fark.com: NCAA announces severe revenue reduction after canceling March Madness. Players to make the same amount.
Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“President Trump reportedly phoned Alex Rodriguez for advice on the coronavirus. President Andrew Jackson had his infamous Kitchen Cabinet of outside-the-loop advisers. Trump might be assembling a Dugout Cabinet. Paging Yogi Berra. . . .
“What am I, chopped liver?” wonders Jose Canseco, sitting by his phone.
“A-Rod knows his stuff, I’m sure. But if I was prez, I would seek out Doc Rivers for a second opinion.” . . .
The Providence, R.I., branch of The First Baptist Church in America has a readerboard that recently read: “Had not planned on giving up quite this much for Lent.” . . .
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