We're all playing the speculation game when it comes to the upcoming NFL season. Even Philip Rivers wants to know what happens if he contracts COVID the week of the Super Bowl. Can he play? I mean, he'll never reach the Super Bowl, but the fact that Rivers is asking that question shows how far people's imaginations are going during this pandemic.
While appearing on The Bill Simmons Podcast, Kimes floated the idea of the NFL playing its season in New Zealand. Yes, that New Zealand, the country in the South Pacific off the coast of southeast Australia. She threw that idea out there while speaking with Simmons about whether or not there would be an NFL season this year. Here's a brief transcription.
Kimes: "What do you think about the NFL having their season in like New Zealand, or something?"
Simmons: "Have you heard that?"
Kimes: "No, no. Incredibly irresponsible speculation by me."
Simmons: "Oh I loved it. That was great."
Kimes: "I mean, I feel like New Zealand would reject us. Although it would be great advertisement for New Zealand, which is gorgeous."
The conversation continued, but for the sake of sanity, I'll stop there.
Of course, her reasoning is sound. New Zealand has an incredibly low number of COVID cases in the country while the US has a very high number. Having players in a bubble has also worked (so far) for the NBA. However, there are some major issues with this idea from a broadcast position, most notably the time difference. New Zealand is 19 hours ahead of New York, meaning Sunday afternoon games would have to be played at around 5 a.m. on Monday in New Zealand for them to be broadcast at 1 p.m. ET in the US. I don't see many players going for that. I also don't think many players want to move to another country for four months to play football. Just a guess.
The full interview was as interesting as ever. Simmons mentioned his belief that there will be a season, but not 16 games. Kimes said with the NBA and MLB playing, there was no way the NFL wouldn't play. She also said it would suck for her job on ESPN if the NFL wasn't played, which is totally true. We can only come up with speculative talking points for so long people.