The hell are we doing, man? Maybe we shouldn’t return to sports

COVID rates spike as resumption looms

Karl Buscheck
July 02, 2020 - 11:53 am

A day after ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the NBA will be spending more than $150 million to operate its Orlando Bubble, there’s a question that needs to be asked:

The hell are we doing, man?

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It’s a question I’ve been thinking about for a while. 

The return of sports, chiefly — the NBA’s bubble, MLB’s 60-game sprint and the NFL’s, well, business as usual — feels reckless and dangerous.

I’m not the only one who’s been asking this question.

I was emboldened to write this after hearing a recent segment on ESPN’s The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz. Midway through the opening hour of Wednesday’s show (jump to the 19:21 mark), LeBatard offered the following analysis.

“Even though it goes against the better interests of everyone at this company, I begin the siren call on, ‘It’s really irresponsible to play sports now.’ Like, we need to be saying this. I think somebody here needs to be saying this really strongly…”

“Super irresponsible and greedy, Stugotz,” LeBatard continued, as the music played and his co-host, the aforementioned Stugotz, prepared to read a sponsor’s ad. “To be headed back into sports at the moment. It’s feeling more and more like that everyday and I say that as someone in the middle of getting paid from sports.”

Today, there was the news that Florida — the teeth of the pandemic, oh, and the site of the bubble — reported 10,109 new cases of COVID-19, setting a new one-day record in the state.

The NBA and the NBA Players Association also reported the sport's latest testing results, nine new positives between June 24-29.

As if the concept of a bubble weren’t problematic enough, then there’s MLB and the NFL, who aren’t even bothering with such a setup, instead endeavoring to fly around the country. A country which continues to demonstrate staggeringly poor judgement amid this massive public health crisis.

Earlier this week, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported that “multiple” NFL teams are planning to fly to, and from, road games on game day. A strategy that speaks to the inherent concern surrounding these games and, again, begs the question:

The hell are we doing, man? 

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