PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – SEPTEMBER 15
By Leo Haggerty

CHANGE OF PLAN

We are going to scrap the poll question for now.  With almost every sport imaginable back in action, our staff has a lot more on their plate now.

I want to thank all our contributors for chiming in over the past four months.  Thanks, ladies and gentlemen, for your great insight and commentary on a plethora of topics.

So, where are we in the sports world right now?  Let’s start with the sport that made an appearance on the scene first, shall we?

The PGA has been able to move ahead with one small hiccup.  The tour travels to Mamaroneck, New York for the last of the three Majors (British Open was cancelled) when the pros tee it up at Winged Foot Golf Club for the U.S. Open.

The NHL is on the cusp of getting to the Stanley Cup Finals round.  In the West, the Dallas Stars have already secured their spot in the best-of-seven championship.  In the East, the Tampa Bay Lightning hold a 3-2 lead over the New York Islanders with Game 6 on Thursday.

The NBA has progressed to the Conference finals.  In the West, the Los Angeles Lakers will be a heavy favorite over the Denver Nuggets.  In the East, the surprising Miami Heat are up 1-0 over the Boston Celtics with a 117-114 overtime victory.

MLB has about a dozen or so games before the postseason begins.  In the AL, it’s a logjam at the top with four teams having 30 or more wins.  It’s a little different in the NL with the Los Angeles Dodgers having 34 victories and the San Diego Padres with 32 on the left side of the dash.

Tennis made it through one of their Majors but not without some controversy.  The  U.S. Open had two great finals with comeback wins for both Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem.  Sadly, it will be remembered for the disqualification of Novak Djokovic in the fourth round for accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball.  That a shame because the finals may have been the best combined for excitement and drama in U.S. Open history.

Football, both NCAA and the NFL, are just getting started.  The NCAA is struggling with Covid-19 in some schools and games are having to be postponed. The NFL just finished their opening week but there are some areas where the media is starting to question whether some of the data is being manipulated or ignored so that games can be played.

From a personal standpoint, it’s hard getting used seeing football being placed in cavernous empty venues.  Sat in the press box for the USF-The Citadel tilt at an almost completely empty Raymond James Stadium which seat just under 70,000.  It was surreal to say the least.

Right now, it is what it is when it comes to fan participation.  Some venues are SLOWLY letting the public into events but on a VERY limited basis.

So, I have to get used to seeing what would be considered a “glorified practice” become game day.  It will take some getting used to for me.  How about you?