When the National Football League managed to start the 2020 regular season on time with zero interruptions I actually thought they could pull off a full season with zero issues. Maybe I drank the kool-aid or maybe I was just desperate for some sort of normalcy during this totally not normal year, but this week reality hit full force when news broke that COVID-19 had hit not one but three players and five personnel of the Tennessee Titans.
But of course, COVID-19 wasn’t done. After the Titans dominated the news cycle for the first half the week resulting in their Week 4 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was reported that Cam Newton had tested positive and the New England Patriots v. Kansas City Chiefs game was in jeopardy.
It was like a bucket of ice cold water was dumped over my head and my hope for a regular NFL season was dashed. Again, I was reminded that there is no normalcy with COVID, this virus is always changing the play at the last second and forcing the rest of us to scramble. But it was a necessary reminder that now is not the time to take our foot off the gas. With states easing some restrictions and kids returning to in-person learning, teams need to double down on their efforts to maintain a COVID free zone. Because as we’ve seen even one positive test can hurt the whole team, so if they want to play it’s time to get even more serious about the virus.
I am hopeful that this past week has served as a wakeup call for all 32 teams that this virus requires teams to be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice to protect both the players and staff. And if I’m being completely honest the time for teams not to allow any fans in the stadium, because come on having 25,000 fans at the Cowboy’s game today of all days? Who thought that was a smart idea?
I’m thankful for having football to look forward every week during a time where there doesn’t seem to be much positive things to look forward to, but let’s be smart about it. I want to continue to look forward to these games because of the anticipation over what player will pull off a spectacular play or a stunning upset.