PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – APRIL 2
By Leo Haggerty

SOMEONE SEND THE MEMO TO THE NFL PLEASE

First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.

After hearing that the National Football League plans to start the season on time, I have to wonder if the NFL hierarchy at 345 Park Avenue is completely blind to what is transpiring around them.  Right now, I believe this is the case for three major reasons.

First, I have to believe that the league is turning a deaf ear to information that is being provided by local and state along with national authorities.  All government agencies are providing sobering and downright scary statistics.

On the federal level, President Trump announced at the end of March that there will 100,000 ventilations available in 100 days.  If you do that math, that’s the beginning of July and, with the previous statement, the administration believes that COVID-19 will not be fully eradicated.  Hear that, guys?

On the state level, New York leads the nation in the amount of positive cases, as well as deaths, that directly resulted from COVID-19. I can assure you that The Empire State did not want to be the lead pony in that parade, for sure.

Second, and this is the amazing one, the league offices are in New York City.  Hey, Roger, look out your window and observe what isn’t happening. “The City That Never Sleeps” is in total hibernation.  The Big Apple is a war zone with casualties rising exponentially on a daily basis.  Gentlemen, are you listening?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his daily press conference today, stated that New York City alone has 51,809 people that tested positive for the Coronavirus.  With a population of just over 8.5 million, that may not be a figure that would raise any eyebrows of The Men In The High Football Castle.

Here’s the one that better make the NFL administration sit up and take notice.  Of those almost 52K positive cases, 4,370 of those occurred in the last 24 hours.  NFL, are you there?

Here’s what scares me.  Is it going to take an NFL player or coach that contracts the Coronavirus to become seriously ill before the NFL wakes up?

Let’s just look at this scenario from a risk/reward standpoint.  Just imagine if New Orleans HC Sean Peyton, who contracted COVID-19 allegedly at an Arkansas race track, became infected at the practice facility.  Could you imagine the public outcry for the NFL to shut everything down completely until this disease is completely eradicated if this happened?

Hey, NFL.  This is going to be around until, at the earliest, the beginning of August and that’s a VERY optimistic date.

It’s time for Commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners to sit down with the NFL Players Association and come up with Plan B and, maybe, even a Plan C.  Plan A, which was unveiled yesterday, looks like a pipe dream.