I don’t really get into MMA or sprint car racing, but I do know UFC 249 took place on Saturday evening, and that a motorsports sanctioning body called World of Outlaws had an official race with some funny looking cars the night before.
Major League Baseball owners are working on a plan for an 82-game schedule that could begin as early as July, if they and the players union agree on the particulars.
Nothing is set in stone, obviously, but it’s encouraging nonetheless.
After all, if baseball doesn’t have a season in the summer, how could the NFL have one in the fall?
I realize the NFL is high and mighty, but not high enough and not mighty enough to begin its league after a spring and summer where other major professional sports leagues didn’t begin or finish theirs (the NBA and NHL are still trying to figure out ways to have actual postseasons).
We’re still in such a fragile state as it pertains to the psyches of everyone in society—including the citizens, players, fans, etc.—that just about anything involving the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic could topple any MLB 82-game proposal, send racing cars back to their pits and put the UFC in a choke-hold by Round 2.
But with that in mind, I think it was weirdly encouraging that a UFC fighter named Ronaldo Souza, and his cornermen for his fight, tested positive for COVID-19. However, instead of cancelling the entire event, Souza's bout was simply yanked from the card.
Was that the right move? I guess we’ll have to see if there is any sort of post-event fall-out from that particular decision.
If there isn’t, perhaps that can act as an example of what to do in the near future if a professional athlete from a team sport tests positive for the Coronavirus mid-season. In fact, I’m guessing there are already plans in place for such an occurrence, as someone eventually testing positive seems all but likely.
Things are weird right now, I get that. As much as we may not want to, we do have to accept a new normal for all things, including sports (at least for the remainder of 2020). Which brings me to something I failed to mention earlier. These sporting events that took place over the weekend—UFC and sprint car racing—did so without any fans in the stands.
If that’s how it has to be for baseball, football, basketball and hockey, I have no problem with it. Would it be weird? Would it totally take away homefield advantage? Most likely yes in both cases.
But we’ve gotten used to so much as citizens over the past two months—despite the noise of social media, we’ve really adapted as a society—we can get used to that, too.
The players will surely get used to it, as well. After all, sports may be our pastime, but it is their profession.
Professional athletes, like the fans, may be more eager than we realize to start their new normal.