Part 3, Moving pass the Intersection.

Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it”. Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1726), Newton’s second law.

Pandemic, COVID-19.  Change your daily routines or risk being exposed or expose others to a viral infection with no known antidote.  Black Lives Matter.  Change city police restraint tactics , the brutality used against citizens or face political changes that fundamentally change the function of policing.  Action and reaction.  Life,  across the world in 2020, is not in a state of rest.

To recap, the sports world meets the pandemic in March 2020.  The NBA canceled its season, on March 13, 2020 and sports leagues follow suit.  Restaurants felt the immediate impact, as states install stay at home mandates. Where not closed, they attempted to operate on a carryout basis.  Unemployment rose as many in the impacted service industry sectors were laid off. No broadcast or cable sports, no drinks at the bar, your best friend seated six feet away may have an infection.  Stay home.

Earlier in Part 2, of this Intersection blog series, a tongue in cheek hypothesis was unveiled.  The Law of Organic Viral Resonance.  It was built to apply in a pandemic world robbed of enjoying sporting activities.  Civic upheavals , organically grown in America made the colors of the Law come into focus.

Stick your finger in the wind to find which way this hypothesis is blowing.

For wind direction, let’s concentrate on the status of major sport leagues that include the NBA, NFL, MLB, NASCAR, NCAA, Cyclings’ Tour de France, and the Republican and Democratic national conventions.  All viewable sporting events that are ratcheting up their plans for 2020 in August through November. 

NBA.  Now three months after it season suspension it is planning to restart in late July 2020.  Games will be played at the ESPN Center in Disney World in Orlando, FL no fans allowed

NFL. Frightened by the possibility of dwindling owners 2020 pocketbooks and declining fandom the NFL addressed its political justice protest policy. In June 2020, the NFL’s Commissioner Roger Goodall, who may have a had a long standing different mind set, confounded billionaire team owners by walking back its policy statement on freedom of speech as displayed by Colin Kapernick.  Remember Kapernick, he in 2016 took a knee in protest to social justice issues during the pre-game playing of the national anthem.  Accused of disrespect to the flag Kapernick was blackballed from the football. Subsequently, Goodall admitted that the NFL was fundamentally wrong in its approach then but not now in 2020.  The NFL will mostly play in reduced fan attended stadiums due to public safety issues resulting from COVID-19.

BREAKING NEWS: On June 16, Commissioner Goodall recommended to all NFL teams that Colin Kapernick should be looked at for possible quarterback positions. Apparently Goodall did not go far enough in his earlier statements concerning displays of public protest during NFL games, Suddenly, that blackball status from 2017 seems to be lifted from the Kapernick’s bended knee position.

MLB. Plans for a 76-game season staring in July are at risk because it is being constrained by ongoing salary negotiations with the players union.  Salary issues aside, the MLB is losing $75M per day that they don’t play.  It has a $787M broadcast revenue bogey sitting behind all the negotiations.  June is fish or cut bait time for MLB and their union employees.

NASCAR.  Up and operating in June 2020 driving in circles in a left-handed manner before empty stadiums seats.  NASCAR will invite 1,000 military personnel to attend an upcoming race.  Then on June 10, 2020 NASCAR made a sharp u-turn to avoid a culture crash and banned confederate flag symbols and flags from being displayed at all future NASCAR events and on race event properties. Next race is in Martinsville, VA

PGA Golf  Tour carded players are itching to get the season on track in the June/July time frame.  Most events will be players only.  However, late news indicates that the Jack Nicklaus Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio rescheduled for July 16-19 will allow fan galleries.

NCAA.   Let’s stick strictly to college football. In May the NCAA released its Resocialization of Collegiate Sports Action Plan.  Basically, it is a phased approach similar to state COVID-19 reopening plans that provides guidelines for athletic departments to prepare for the upcoming 2020 season.  But it is all dependent upon University presidents and state educators to agree upon opening campuses to  students. 

Tour de France That 2,000 mile 30 day cycling marathon will take place in France in late August through late September. Crowded mountainsides and packed urban areas with fans along the route will be common place. Will this activity portend a return of a second wave in Europe?

Republican and Democratic Conventions.  Politics is a sport. It is not played on a green field or on slick surfaces.  It has become must-see TV regardless of where it occurs.  Jacksonville, FL appears to have the lead on accommodating the RNC convention – with the possibility of having 19,000 unmasked fans sitting next to each other in stadium chairs.  Sitting on the FLA-GA line J-ville is home for many military installations. DNC, who’s event is in Milwaukee, WI most likely will be a viral event watched on your smartphone.

The American public will surely enjoy the compressed sport activities funneled into a 3 to 4 month time frame.  It will be a welcomed change after months of watching the Disney Channel, ESPN 30 for 30 specials, Little League and South Korean baseball.

The only question that remains is where you will watch “sports”.  How and when will the bridge be built across this intersection of states Phase 2 COVID-19 responses.

Florida, has in June, entered their phase 2 status which allows restaurants and bars to open outdoors and full capacity with restrictions on interior dining limited to 50% capacity.  Other states will soon follow their lead.  So, bellying up to the “outside bar” may be in vogue soon at your local neighborhood eatery.

Small businesses, restaurants will try to bridge that 4-month gap by taking advantage of better outdoor weather to accommodate customers and sports fans. People hope that the infection rates do not grow or cause a second wave.

Issac Newton, a survivor of the European “Great bubonic plague” in 1665 would eventually craft the framework for the Scientific Revolution that came on the heels of the plague.  The calculus (invented by Newton) shaped a new rational world view.

Public health officials now await that similar American public and the world scientific view for an “aha moment” when the apple falls and bongs us on our head. 

Will it come in the next four months?

The MatchLIDProject

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