In light of the news that the NBA would allow teams to re-open their practice facilities if they're in a state where stay-at-home restrictions have been relaxed or lifted, Dan Patrick (who must read the site) discussed how it's a beacon of false hope. He also touched upon how, for better or for worse, sports and their return will be our barometer for how well the country is handling this pandemic. The full segment:
I thought this was an interesting monologue because while I wasn't actively thinking like this, subconsciously I do, indeed, measure how we're handling this with the projected timeline for the return of sports. A single sporting event involves everything we are actively avoiding as a nation -- large groups of people in a crowded area, players and fans coming into contact with each other on and off the floor. Even in the likely scenario sports will return without fans, it means we've all collectively progressed to the point where it's safe for the dozens to hundreds of people to be in close contact with one another in order to put on a game. The closer we inch towards that reality, the closer we inch to our final goal of returning to something resembling normalcy.
As Patrick said, this also means that the smallest of signs that they could be returning (like opening up practice facilities) grants us all a measure of false hope. And it's not limited to that piece of news. When reports of MLB's ill-fated plan to possibly try to start the season with every team in Arizona leaked, it was appropriately ripped apart. But, for the briefest of moments, we all thought about what it would mean if they could do that. If hundreds of players could safely gather, that must mean we're closer to being able to resume our lives, right? The line of thinking is logical, but it can be dangerous because we all want it to be true.
Sports is a depository for hope in all shapes and sizes. Hope your team can do what everything else thinks is impossible, hope that one young player will develop like you want him to, hope that you'll be able to capture the unique and lasting feeling of the team you've dedicated a lot of your life rooting for wins a championship. Now, sports as a whole represent something we all desperately need -- hope of brighter days ahead. As Patrick said, for better or for worse.