By Danny Cohen
Sports Editor/Layout Editor
During the unprecedented age of coronavirus, everyone’s favorite sports to watch have had to make difficult decisions that will change the way professional sports teams operate for the foreseeable future. From placing entire teams into isolated bubbles (keeping all members together and away from society to stay healthy), to forcing double-header games to make up for lost time, here is what every league is doing to stay safe while they head into their respective seasons.
It had been 140 days, 9 hours, 13 minutes, and 36 seconds since the NBA last played a real basketball game before the Utah Jazz squared off with the New Orleans Pelicans on July 30th. After Rudy Gobert, along with other members of the Utah Jazz, tested positive for the coronavirus in March, the NBA was forced to shut down. While the league was planning to resume one month later, they shortly learned that the plan was completely unrealistic. After brainstorming many ideas, including possibly shutting the league down for the year, the NBA ultimately decided to build a bubble in Orlando, Florida. The players have now been in the bubble for over a month now, and it seems to be working perfectly.
The NHL has not one, but two bubbles -- in Edmonton and Toronto -- for the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively. So far, nobody in the league has tested positive for the virus, and it looks as though the playoffs will occur with no problems.
Baseball began its play on July 24, and while the season is still going on, there have been some issues regarding COVID-19. First, the Miami Marlins had a large outbreak, where more than half of their roster tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the Philadelphia Phillies (whom they played while the virus spread throughout the team) to postpone their games for over a week. Next, the St. Louis Cardinals also had an outbreak within the team, and their games were forced to be put on pause. As a result, many teams now will have to quickly make up their games, but the only way to do that is to play multiple double-headers. While it is likely for the season to continue, baseball has certainly felt the effects of the coronavirus, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see another outbreak within a team or throughout the league.
Despite the NFL’s plan to start the season on the first Sunday of September, there has not been too much optimism around the league, with a handful of players opting out of the season. The league has yet to come up with a real plan concerning the coronavirus, so it will be interesting to see how they handle it come September.
The entire world has been affected by the pandemic, and while it may not be completely normal, it is still great to see sports finally returning.