PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – JULY 16
By Leo Haggerty

JUST A REMINDER

It’s amuses me to hear different sports commentators say that they had no idea that the pandemic was going to cause this kind of mayhem to the American sports scene.  Some go as far as to emphasize that no one saw this coming.

Well, this sports journalist would like to take a moment to remind everyone that’s not the case.  I predicted this cataclysmic event for both the professional side as well as the collegiate contingent in April.

The first is an excerpt from my column from April 3rd.  It deals with professional sports.

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 July 15.

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.

The second is another excerpt my column from April 29th.  It deals with the collegiate end.

First, the beginning of the season can be moved back to an October, or even early November, start date when fans could attend.  That would allow for a regular twelve-game season, that normally takes 13 or 14 weeks to conclude, to finish sometime in mid-January to mid-February.  School would be able to reap all the financial benefits of a complete season.

The one advantage football has over all the other sports, with maybe the exception of basketball, is that it can be played at any time during the calendar year.  Baseball can’t be played in the winter and hockey cannot be played in the summer.

I think it would be kind of neat to see the Wisconsin-Minnesota tilt for Paul Bunyan’s Ax be played in January with a foot of snow all around the stadium.  Or the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn being played in near freezing temperatures.

So, there you have it.  This complete discombobulation of our sports universe was something I foresaw.

So, do I now get the moniker of Leostradamus?  Nope.  Just looked at the facts.  Then, I did my due diligence by contacting individuals that had far more knowledge as to what was occurring than myself.  Finally, I constructed an opinion from that information.  That’s just good journalistic practice, period.

Am I bragging about it? No. I called it but I wish I was wrong.  No one wants to be the purveyor of bad tidings even if they’re right.

Here’s hoping for a medical breakthrough ASAP so our beloved sports can truly safely return.  That’s all anyone wants.