Everyone wants football back—at least those who have an interest in football as a game, or as a barometer for the state of readiness for the world to ‘return to normal’. There are those, of course, who don’t care. But they’re not reading this, are they?
Anyway, the NFL wants to get the players back. The players want to be back. They’re itching to work out again. Many of them in fact have been doing that on their own, getting into smaller groups with some of their teammates, even if they can’t work out with their teams yet. That could be coming soon, but more realistically, they remain on track for training camp in July.
Maurkice Pouncey, for one, isn’t particularly worried. Like, at all. In fact, he doesn’t really sound as though he really takes the virus all that seriously, in comparison to other things that are among the leading causes of fatalities in the US.
When asked on The Cook and Joe Show last week if he thought there would be football this year, he said, “1000 percent. They won’t give us money without us playing”. He added, “we came back in 2011 with a lockout as well. I get guys are gonna get injured. Guys are gonna get injured every year”.
It’s interesting to watch something like a virus become political. Viruses don’t care about politics, or race, or gender, or just about anything else, for the most part. And uncertainty should concern people, especially people who have no training in the subject (of course I include myself in this.
And we shouldn’t equate mortality rates with health rates, as Pouncey does. “If you’re 60 and under, then there’s a 99 percent recovery rate. I hope there ain’t no 60-year-old players out there playing football”, he joked.
“We also have the flu every year, and also have 50,000 car crashes every year, but we’re in a car right now”, he continued with the typical red herring response, even though Covid-19 has already killed more than twice as many.
“We’ve already tried to lock down the world for as long as we can. This is a working country”, he said. “I get it. Do we have to be as safe as possible? Yeah, we do. But to not be able to come back and play sports and football when we’re young and healthy—every single year, guys come in, they catch the flu, they get a cold, they get everything, and the next thing you know, they come back the next week and everything’s fine”.
There’s a difference between returning the country to work and ‘getting back to normal’ in every sense. It remains a realistic possibility that it may not be safe for 10,000s of people to gather together in a group. Frankly, we are still waiting to see how the recent protests will impact infection numbers. Numbers are still rising in over a dozen states.
But there will still be football, 1000 percent, as Pouncey said. I firmly believe that, until the evidence tells me otherwise.