The NBA wants to resume their league in a bubble. Major League Baseball just went through countless contortions between owners and players with the hopes of pulling off an abbreviated 50-60 game season this summer. Football, while still a little while away, is already assuming that both pro and college games will still occur under new guidelines and conditions. All this sounds good, but is it practical? Safe? Realistic?
Putting our emotions in front of logic
It goes without question that we are missing our sports in America. Aside from the action on the fields and courts that we enjoy, we also take pride in our local teams, and often spend chunks of our day reading sport-related blogs and websites, and chatting it up with friends about the latest sport stories of interest. Even with our kids we are missing their games, team parades and functions, and opportunities to help them improve their sport skills through sport camps, clinics, and personalized lessons. Not only are all these things on hold at the moment, making it worse is the fact that we really have no idea what the future holds and how long until the games return.
As we grow more frustrated, tired, and pessimistic about the pandemic and what it has done to shut down sports, it makes sense that our emotions begin taking over our thinking and leaving us vulnerable to making emotionally-charged comments. Our emotions want this thing to be over and for us to get back to normal. It is also our emotional thinking that allows us to make short-sighted decisions, some that will likely come back to haunt in the form of an unexpected corona virus infection. While our logical thinking is filled with medical and scientific warnings that we are about to see another uptick in corona virus cases, our emotional brains are saying I’m tired of this shut down lets get back to playing ball.
Even if these seasons do occur, will it be the same?
Lets say for a moment that MLB and the NBA do actually get their leagues rolling this summer, with only a fraction of the games being planned can we come to appreciate these seasons as authentic in any real way? This is like a strike-shortened season, but worse when you factor in all the uncertainty that remains with future infections (compared to previous player strikes that returned to normal after the strikes ended). What kind of season will it be when some players refuse to go back, others will leave upon learning they tested positive, and all players will engage in their sport with uncertainty, reservations, and extreme caution. Should we expect the same level of play from athletes more worried about breathing on each other than they are in getting a base hit, or making a free throw? And without fans and no real home field/court advantage, how will that impact game outcomes?
It is understandable that many sport fans want the games to return, but when we step back and look at all the new rules, protocols, restrictions, and uncertainties, it really makes you wonder if any of this will really happen? Or if they do get the summer leagues going again, how long will it be until they are stopped? And does football have any real chance of starting with all medical experts expecting another spike in cases this fall? All these questions loom, presenting real challenges for all of us when balancing our emotions against sound logical thinking.