July 09, 2020

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 10 comments

Dumbest take ever?

None of the players who have chosen to extend their vacation has been deemed high-risk, but most cite protecting people with whom they live. There's a solution to that.

Move out.

You might miss a birth, or the first few weeks of your kid's life, or back-to-school 2020. But you will be protected, and you will be tested, and you will be doing your job.

Because that's what it is. A job. Players were hired to comprise a team with the goal of winning a championship, no matter how asterisked the season becomes. These players were hired to display their skills and drive an industry.

posted by grum@work at 05:32 PM on July 09, 2020

Dumbest take ever?

Not quite, but or getting close. I can cite a couple of examples from the Boston Celtics as they begin the restart in Orlando. First is Gordon Hayward whose wife is expecting their first boy (they have 3 daughters) while the games are being played. Hayward plans to leave Orlando to be with his wife and family for the birth. The second is Jason Tatum whose son Deuce is 2 1/2 years old. Tatum thought long and hard about not playing because he wanted to be with his son during this time of his life. In either case there is some sacrifice involved.

The take is not entirely dumb. If quarantine at the site of the games is strictly enforced, the testing regimen should ensure that all present will not have the virus. Thus, those who leave the venue can be very confident that they are healthy. When someone leaves and returns, testing and some period of separation should maintain the quarantine integrity. What I have written is true for the NBA and NHL. MLB and NFL are another story. For those leagues any player with half a brain would stay home. Those teams will be traveling with no way to quarantine or determine exposure to the virus. They are a disaster looking for a place to happen.

So make it a split decision. For the NBA & NHL, the precautions should be sufficient. Report and play unless there is an overriding concern. For MLB & NFL, this guy is dead wrong. You get paid to play and risk injuries that are part of the game. You are not paid to risk your health and the health of your family. Players in those leagues have every reason to stay home.

posted by Howard_T at 06:23 PM on July 09, 2020

Howard, not sure I can agree after seeing what's happening with MLS in Orlando and their bubble. Nasville SC had to withdraw from the tournament: The club reported nine players " about a third of the roster " had tested positive for the novel coronavirus since they arrived at a Disney resort, where all 26 teams are staying in a so-called bubble for several weeks.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:09 AM on July 10, 2020

If sports are going to happen and there is contact between players, then a mask or a full face shield has to be utilized. This bubble scenario is nothing but a pipedream so full precautions have to be utilized.

I brought the idea of hockey players using a full face shield helmet like the youngsters use, but I guess the peripheral vision is heavily skewed with those things, making NHL players more vulnerable to getting trucked from the side by a dude they couldn't see coming because of the skewed vision. If that's the case, then they shouldn't be playing the games because you cannot 100% guarantee that the bubble won't be compromised at some point during the season. Same goes for football. Especially football.

posted by NoMich at 12:14 PM on July 10, 2020

The club reported nine players " about a third of the roster " had tested positive for the novel coronavirus since they arrived at a Disney resort, where all 26 teams are staying in a so-called bubble for several weeks.

This is a bit misleading in that it implies the players had been in the bubble for several weeks. Not so. Later in the article it says:

"However, one player tested positive upon arrival at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel and another eight followed suit in subsequent days. Though the timeline suggests the virus was contracted in Tennessee, it appears to have spread in Florida."

This is said not to argue, but to add some information and to lead me to some questions that others might answer. How long had the Nashville team been in Orlando? If it had been less than a week, all of the players could have contracted the virus in Nashville. If they had been in Orlando longer than the incubation time for the virus, then, yes, there is a problem. I am not familiar with the MLS quarantine procedures, so I will not judge.

In the NBA testing has been conducted on a regular and frequent basis at the various practice facilities in order that teams reporting to Orlando have a high probability of being virus free. I just watched a webinar featuring 2 of the Celtics principal owners, one of whom is going to Orlando. He was tested yesterday so that he would be clear to enter the bubble on Monday. Another interesting thing is that teams are reporting to Orlando in 3 slots. This is to minimize contact between the teams prior to the beginning of games. In Orlando teams will be tested frequently (I seem to remember daily testing, but it might be every other day or so) to avoid the spread if there is a positive. My point is that the NBA seems to be doing things right, and they might very well succeed in finishing the season.

posted by Howard_T at 01:39 PM on July 10, 2020

If the NBA had players like Tree Rollins, Laimbeer, and Ron Artest on current rosters, they'd probably have to scrap the season. Things would just be too unpredictable. And Danny Ainge's hand would have to be quarantined after Rollins bit down on it.

posted by beaverboard at 01:46 PM on July 10, 2020

Danny Ainge's hand would have to be quarantined

I believe a rabies shot was sufficient.

posted by Howard_T at 02:48 PM on July 10, 2020

Because that's what it is. A job.

There's an implicit assumption here that if something is a "job" you must do it, no matter what sacrifices you and your family must make. But that's not the assumption anyone makes about their own job. People decide how far they're willing to sacrifice. That's true of common people just as much as millionaire athletes.

Few people would miss their child's birth for a job.

posted by rcade at 11:38 AM on July 11, 2020

Hanging everything on it being a JOB is what struck me as well. We have regulatory standards for workplaces that are normally hazardous, like OSHA, but now pretty much any job is hazardous and I don't mind employees deciding that the proposed safety regulations don't quite cut it.

posted by LionIndex at 04:33 PM on July 11, 2020

Few people would miss their child's birth for a job.

I was a civilian contractor in USS MIDWAY, homeported in Japan, in 1989. My contract was due to expire on 1 April, and my wife was due to have our son around mid to late April. She went back to the USA in January, just before we went to sea on a cruise, because she couldn't fly trans-Pacific in her 3rd trimester. I was relieved and left the ship in Hong Kong on 1 April, and flew home, arriving on the 3rd. Our son arrived on the 9th. Not quite a complete miss, but my Lamaze classes were pretty brief.

Because of subsequent travel there was a number of significant events in our son's life that I missed. It was not good, and it put a burden on my wife, but we got through it. My work could be considered a bit more important than running around on a field or in an arena, but that's my opinion. The stuff I worked on was defense related, and in a small way it helped our military stay a step or 2 ahead. There were a few times when I could have gotten my young backside killed, but my employer had me heavily insured, and my wife will never admit that she was not counting the settlement money. Since I have retired, and for a few years prior to retirement, I was able to be at home most of the time. Our son is now 31, living about 50 miles away, and we see him often. We frequently attend the Celtics games together, and what was past has been forgiven. So the lesson is that one can be forgiven for nearly anything, but forgiving oneself is very difficult.

posted by Howard_T at 05:43 PM on July 11, 2020

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