Oh, I do hate being a Negative Ned … but plenty of doubt is creeping into my noggin about whether we ought to resume sporting activities that occur in front of crowds.
Let’s consider a couple of things.
First, Tulsa, Okla., has reported a significant spike in the cases of COVID-19 after a political rally attended by about 6,500 spectators. Donald Trump went to Tulsa to restart his re-election campaign and now we hear about a surge in infection in that city and surrounding area.
Second, the Ivy League has just announced it is canceling all fall sports. No intercollegiate sports will occur in that conference. Why? Sports and school officials are concerned about infection coming from the pandemic.
The Texas State Fair canceled its 2020 event. The Big 12, though, plans to play the Texas-Oklahoma college football game anyway. They won’t pack the Cotton Bowl, but still the place will have plenty of fans.
Major League Baseball is going to restart its season soon, along with the NBA, the NHL and the pro football will start training camps soon. Some players are boycotting the season out of fear of getting sick. Others might follow.
I am just at the point now of worrying whether the risk is worth the reward.
We are hearing too many reports of “hot spots” springing up all over the country. Arizona is the latest place to receive the dubious designation of “epicenter” of the pandemic. Texas isn’t that far behind.
I express these doubts and concerns as someone who wants a return to collegiate football. My beloved Oregon Ducks are supposed to play a big non-conference game in Eugene on Sept. 12 against Ohio State. There is no way they can pack Autzen Stadium full of fans to cheer on the Ducks. I now am doubting whether it’s wise to even play the game.
I am now officially beginning to wonder whether the Ivy League has blazed a trail down which other athletic conferences should travel.