Saturday, October 3, 2020

A Convivial Suggestion for Roger Goodell

By John Turney

This morning the news of Patriots star quarterback Cam Newton testing positive for COVID-19 hit the Internet news sites and social media. Shortly after that news of the Patriots-Chiefs game being postponed also hit the "wires" as they used to be called.

We don't know the particulars but we are sure the NFL has plenty of contingency plans in case there are more and wider outbreaks of COVID in the NFL among the teams and surrounding personnel.

The NFL and their fans cannot expect a 16-game season in this atmosphere. COVID is just too communicable and there is the lag time of incubation period of all communicable diseases and of treatment and then the complication of some comorbidities of some players who may have health issues of which we are unaware and also family members, we all know this is uncharted territory. 

Our suggestion is this: 

A couple (or even a couple more after that) non-conference games and/or non-divisional games need to be canceled to compose a 12- or 14-game season. And the extra weeks can be used for postponed games. 

Yes, it's not what anyone wants. But we think it's a pipedream to get in a full season that is competitive and enjoyable with all the uncertainly we have with the virus wreaking havoc on society. 

So, after the truncated season in terms of games, not the numbers of weeks (all 17 will possibly be needed to get 12 (or perhaps 14) games in) go on to the playoffs.

For the playoffs, we'd suggest a bubble (as was used in the NBA and NHL seasons) in the Super Bowl city of Tampa. It offers favorable weather and plenty of accommodations. 

Perhaps one NFC city bubble (Tampa) and one AFC city would be workable, we don't know.

Of course, our idea may not work, it may be all wet. But it is the only way we can fathom a way to get the season in and to have a fair playoff and Super Bowl.

Fans simply won't be a part of it this year. Media access will be limited. All the testing and masks and social distances and hygiene rules will apply, of course.

So, we though we'd run this up the flag pole and see who salutes. 

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