PFT- “I think it’s feasible that negative testing players could play to an empty stadium,” Fauci said. “Is it guaranteed? No way . . . There will be virus out there and you will know your players are negative at the time they step onto the field. You’re not endangering . . . Also, if the virus is so low that even in the general community the risk is low, then I could see filling a third of the stadium or half the stadium so people could be six feet apart. I mean, that’s something that is again feasible depending on the level of infection. I keep getting back to that: It’s going to depend. Like, right now, if you fast forward, and it is now September. The season starts. I say you can’t have a season—it’s impossible. There’s too much infection out there. It doesn’t matter what you do. But I would hope that by the time you get to September it’s not gonna be the way it is right now.”
Did I just "Yada yada" Peter King's entire interview with Dr. Fauci where he warned that the coronavirus is pretty much going to make the decision of whether the NFL season can be played or not for us and pull the most positive quote possible, even if its still shrouded in mystery? Of course! But you aren't reading a Barstool blog, let alone a Barstool blog written by me, for pessimism. Until Roger Goodell cuncels da saeson, one week, or even one game, I am going to subscribe to Michael Strahan's line of thinking when it comes to all 256 games being played since we don't know what the fuck is going to happen in 4 days let alone 4 months.
I know that testing will have to improve, be readily available, and handled with more integrity than the way NFL teams handle throwing a clearly concussed player back into a game.
Casual reminder that Case Keenum once reentered a game after this happened to him then fumbled once he was back in before the NFL had to rework their concussion protocols:
I love the NFL but also know NFL teams would willfully risk hitting the reset button on any flattening or disappearance of the curve to get a win and would probably introduce COVID-20 into the world if it meant winning a division game. So doing this the right way could literally be the difference between life and death.
As for fans attending, I couldn't give less of a fuck if these games are in sold out stadiums, half-empty stadiums, or empty stadiums. I enjoy eating and drinking so much that I can barely stand before watching modern gladiators battle on the gridiron as much as the next guy. But being able to watch NFL games on TV 3+ times a week and ignoring everything in my life during RedZone marathons trumps getting drunk in a New Jersey parking lot and stumbling to watch super athletic freaks play a game. I can fire up the grill at my house and drink my face off in lockdown for one season if that's what it takes to stop the spread. And as every fellow diehard Korean Baseball fan knows, it is easy to forget that there are no fans in the stands when your brain is just happy to see some sort of sports on TV.
The one X-Factor in all this would be how the coronavirus impacts fantasy rankings. Does a player get bumped up a tier if he has coronavirus antibodies? Do you downgrade guys that haven't caught the bug yet knowing they may miss 2 games if they get sick during the season? Do you remove Matt Breida from your Big Board altogether knowing that his body could literally explode if he gets coronavirus? Those are questions we can ask Tony Fauci when the time is right. But just thinking about fantasy rankings and being told that the NFL season is nowhere close to getting outright dismissed is about as good a news as I can ask for on a Monday morning.