By Marc Harper | July 29, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak currently afflicting the MLB, and the Marlins more specifically, should give the NFL pause on their current plan to play the 2020 season. The NFL and the NFLPA have spent the last few weeks focusing on the business aspects (read $$) without focusing on how to play the game safely. Daily tests for the first two weeks of the season are great (albeit insufficient once the season starts), as all it takes is one “super spreader” to impact the season.
The NFL continues to refer to their protocols as a “virtual bubble”. This “virtual bubble” fails to account for the likelihood that other members of a team employee’s household might catch COVID. This was the case with Eric Sugarman, the Infection Control Officer for the Minnesota Vikings. If the Infection Control Officer was unable to prevent the virus for entering his house, how can players be expected to do the same? For the NFL, is that worth the risk?
Teams believe that if five players test positive, then you can safely fill the roster with practice squad players. But currently about 50% of the Marlins have COVID. Can the NFL really sustain 28 players on a single team getting the virus? If you are a QB, would you start a game while missing your entire first and second-string offensive line? Is that safe? What about the integrity of the game?
What is the solution? Here’s our solution.
Let’s push the season back a couple weeks to come up with an actual plan to play safely. One proposal – Let’s create four different mini-bubbles with eight teams each. You pair one AFC division with one NFC division, and have all the teams play each other twice for a total of 14 games each. At the conclusion of the 14 games, you seed the playoffs one through seven in each conference and create two new bubbles for the AFC and the NFC playoff teams.
The Super Bowl can then be played as scheduled, on February 7th.
Is this the most cost-effective solution? Probably not.
Will this result in the most revenue for the NFL? Probably.
After all, a shortened season in “actual” bubbles, rather than “virtual” bubbles, is better than no season at all.
Opinions expressed are solely of the author and do not express the views or opinions of Headcoachranking.com.