The shell game of optimism is over and reality has set in. White House projections say 100,000-240,000 American lives will be lost over the next few months. Death totals will peak in a few weeks, right around the time the NFL intends to hold its draft.
The league has been stubborn and steadfast in its determination to have things go on as scheduled. But it is not yet too late for them to rethink that plan. Conducting a three-day jamboree, even remotely, would be a jarring and head-spinning display of cognitive dissonance.
This is not a unique opinion. Even Adam Schefter, a man who believes in the importance and power of The Shield more than the average Joe, gave voice to how ridiculous the notion of plowing through during the darkest days of a global pandemic would be.
"So as we're carrying out more bodies and as there's more carnage in the streets of cities, we're drafting players and watching them go to teams," Schefter said last night on SportsCenter of the inevitable reality ahead. "It seems kind of cold-hearted, to be perfectly frank."
Schefter added: "The draft is happening only through the sheer force and determination and lack of foresight. They are determined to put this on while there is carnage in the streets."
It is long past time someone this close to the NFL's operational epicenter said as much publicly. Schefter is not prone to hyperbole or hot takes, so the incredulity in his voice is authentic.
Does this mean the league is going to reverse course and postpone the draft? Considering their single-mindedness, I wouldn't count on it. But as we sit here, with a modicum of forward-thinking, it's quite clear that keeping the show going as planned will be something the NFL regrets down the road.