Tim Crone: Sports returning will be a tricky proposition
It’s the end of June and the sports world is beginning the process of working its way back into the fabric of society.
We need to have hope for a return to normalcy. It has been five months of difficulty not seen since 1968. I used to feel that things are not as bad as they are currently, but I may have been wrong.
Hopefully, the return of sports will offer positive shared experiences. The return of sports will not be easy. Each sport is different. Obviously, the presence of fans will be limited. The NBA is talking about finishing their season in a bubble concept in Orlando, Florida. No fans will be allowed and players, coaches and personnel will be with the league testing and controlling the atmosphere. It has never been done in history.
Major League Baseball has spent way too much time arguing about pay and legalities and have lost 2-3 weeks in the process. Baseball has damaged its image more than any other sport.
Golf and tennis are sports that will not require fans in attendance and should function well. My golf friends feel like the players will do better without comments shouted at them.
Football will likely vary at each level, but it seems impossible to create any social distance during a game of football. A number of athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 virus in colleges and universities across the country at beginning physicals. Several pro players and coaches have also tested positive for the virus. College and NFL teams are making plans for players to quarantine for 14 days and to formulate a plan to back up head coaches and coordinators in the event they test positive.
Locker rooms provide tight quarters and are nearly always crowded. Close contact is an understatement for them. High school sports have all the same problems as the college and pro teams but with few resources available to them. It is doubtful that very many high schools will have tests and follow-up procedures available to them.
The next few weeks will be perplexing with difficult discussions about how to proceed into a playing season. This country has been unable to decide if it should or should not follow the medical standards set up by the federal government.
Opinions about the return of sports are many and varied, but the truth is no one really knows the way to safely resume play. The job of commissioners and athletic directors at all levels is impossible.
The one thing we can all agree on is that we would like our favorite sports teams to be back on fields and courts. It is time for us to realize that we do not have the answers and we will need to enjoy sports in a new way.
Our hope will have to be that the medical profession can come up with a vaccine sooner rather than later, and in the meantime we will need to be flexible and understanding.
• The quote of the week comes from American author Calvin Stowe: “Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at email@example.com.