PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – APRIL 3
By Leo Haggerty

THE BEST CASE AND WORST CASE SCENARIO FOR THE RESUMPTION OF SPORTS

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.

OK, people are finally figuring out that the paragraph that I begin EVERY column with is not fiction.  Members of the highest level of elected officials down to everyday working class individuals are realizing the Coronavirus is for real and needs to be regarded with the utmost seriousness.

So, how does this effect sports?  Let’s look at what I believe is the best case scenario and then compare that to the worst possible outcome. Again, this is a hypothesis and not a statement of fact.

With all the information that I have been provided with, here’s what I think is the best that the four major sports leagues can realistically expect assuming the date of COVID-19 is eradicated by July15.

The National Hockey League WILL NOT be able to resume the 2019-20 season.  The NHL WILL be able to start the 2020-21 season on time.

The National Basketball Association WILL be able to hold an extremely abbreviated playoff schedule culminating in the crowding of a champion no later than August 30.  That WILL allow the NBA to start their 2020-21 season on time.

Major League Baseball WILL have an extremely condensed 2020 season but WILL be able to have a full second season of playoffs.  That WILL allow MLB to start the 2021 season on time.

The National Football League WILL be able to start the 2020 campaign on time.

Well, that’s the good news.  Now for the bad and that starts with the last remnants of the Coronavirus gone and the all clear being given on September 15.

The NHL WILL NOT be able to start the 2020-21 season on time.  The NHL season WILL be delayed by two weeks but a full season WILL be possible.

The NBA WILL NOT be able to start the 2020-21 season on time.  The NBA season WILL be delayed by three weeks but a full season WILL be possible.

MLB WILL be able to start the 2021 season on time.

The NFL WILL NOT be able to start the 2020 campaign on time.  The NFL WILL play a full season starting the middle of October with the Super Bowl being played around the end of March.

I truly expect these to be extremes.  The actual resumption of professional sports will probably fall somewhere between those two dates.

Here’s hoping I’m right on the early side.  That’s a very aggressive return date that will allow the resumption of play within a reasonable.

If I’m right on the late side, get comfortable because you’ll have to break into the game chest for competitive entertainment.  Fans can only take so many reruns of games already played.