No matter how you feel about the coronavirus, we can all agree that it’s had a huge impact on the sports world. This country went nearly four months without sports and it was rough for sports fans. What we do know is that we can have football, but it might only come in a unique way.
The NBA was the first main professional sports league to come up with the idea about playing in a bubble and we’re finding out it works. Of course, there are restrictions for everyone entering the bubble, but it is what it is. As of yesterday, there were no positive tests down in the Orlando bubble as the season restarted. This can also be said about the NHL up in Canada. It’s safe to say we will get to a Stanley Cup champion, as well as a NBA champion.
The MLB has gone a few weeks into the season without playing in a bubble and it hasn’t been promising so far to finish the season. The Marlins and Cardinals both had many players test positive and were forced to postpone multiple games. Not only have these positive tests impacted just the two teams, but also other teams that they’ve played and future opponents. Due to traveling city to city, more and more players will test positive and that could hurt the rest of the MLB. There’s a solid chance that baseball won’t finish out the season.
Now, the NFL is following as many protocols as possible so that they can make sure they have a season. Certain teams have announced that they won’t have fans in their own stadiums including the Raiders, Rams and Chargers. Brand new stadiums and no fans! Even though many players have already opted out of playing this season, there’s a way for the NFL to save the year.
So how could the NFL play in a bubble? Well it’s pretty simple! The NFL will need to play somewhere where that is big enough to hold all 32 teams. That place could be Texas. Now it’s understandable that it could be a hot spot for positive tests, but if the league follows the same protocols as the NBA and NHL, there shouldn’t be an issue as long as nobody leaves the bubble.
Texas would be the perfect destination because of the number of fields and facilities that would be accessible to the teams. Teams could use practice fields and facilities at local high schools and colleges. The NFL could even separate the teams into certain areas in which divisions would be located. Each division would be located in a certain part of the state, as the teams would all play their divisional opponents to start the season. The league could then allow teams two bye weeks for players to go back and see their families before starting up the next part of the season. This idea about divisions was brought up by our own Tyler Polumbus.
Once the divisional games are completed, the league would relocate teams so that they could play the other division teams play each season. For example this season the Broncos will play the NFC South. After the AFC West would play each other, they would pair up with the NFC South and play that division. Then, the NFL would give teams another two-week bye and then play the final division left on the schedule and that would total out to 14 games on the year. The league would then do the same thing come playoff time by just putting all of the playoff teams in the bubble.
This seems to be the best option if we want to see football this season. We’ve seen two out of the three top sports leagues in the country be successful and one going day by day hoping that it doesn’t get canceled.
Again, not everyone is bought in on the coronavirus in this country, but we can all agree that it has affected our sports and if we want the No. 1 sport in this country to happen, changes need happen for the NFL. The answer is the bubble as much as fans don’t want to hear it. This country would rather have the NFL in a bubble and not go to the games than not have any football at all.
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