The WNBA season ended Tuesday night, the NHL season ended close to two weeks ago and the NBA season could end as soon as tonight. It is hard to believe that it felt like just yesterday I was writing about how these leagues were preparing to start or resume their seasons inside of the bubble.
The NBA has occupied Walt Disney World, the WNBA IMG Academy and the NHL had two hubs in Edmonton and Toronto. The players, staff, coaches and some family members entered these bubbles months ago so that they would be able to safely hold a season without interruption. The results? Zero positive tests for COVID-19 from any of them. The WNBA had a few inconclusive tests that ending up being negative after retesting, but other than that none of the three leagues had any positive test results.
The MLB had their issues with COVID, the NFL is battling it right now with one game being postponed, another moved back several days and as I write this, the Tennessee Titans continue to have more positive tests, meaning they will more than likely have to postpone a game for the second week in a row. College football has been a mess with multiple postponements due to outbreaks amongst certain teams.
This goes to show that the bubble worked. Financially I am sure that it took a lot of money to make happen. Logistically there were a lot of moving parts as well, but things worked out wonderfully. Think about it. You have close to 20 teams with all of their staff with them that has to be housed and fed along with so many other things including laundry, hair cuts, entertainment, etc. It is not easy to pull all of that off for months at a time. It takes a lot of people working together and these leagues did it wonderfully.
There were minimal complaints from players or any other staff on site, the games were competitive and fun to watch and the leagues successfully completed their seasons and crowned champions. That is not something that we thought was possible when all of this first started.
The medical staff inside of the bubbles conducted almost daily testing on every person to make sure that the virus did not sneak in and cause things to shut down.
College basketball appears to be attempting to do something like a bubble to try and make sure that their players stay healthy and can play their season when the time comes. Many teams are working towards trying to get around 10 total teams to play a round robin type schedule so that they can play multiple teams at one location and there is no need for travel and other things that could cause an outbreak. Conferences are even discussing playing their seasons at a neutral site where everyone can play each other without traveling. Honestly this is the best bet at trying to have a successful college basketball season. It is obvious that these players being on college campuses are a recipe for disaster.
It isn’t the athletes that are the problem, it is the other students on campus that have no regard for their safety or the safety of those around them. This is a trickle down effect that we have already seen with the issues surrounding college football.
I hope whatever they decide will be in the interest of the student athlete’s health and safety. There have been so many changes and obstacles to overcome in 2020, some that I hope that we never have to encounter again, but we have also seen the power of working together to achieve a common goal. The bubbles that were created for professional athletes to do their work in a safe environment were a big success. What happens in the future no one knows, but one thing we do know is that there will be a way to be able to have sports and be safe at the same time.
Until next time.