Bringing pro sports back to life in the lockdown era

How will these sports look on the flat screen with empty stands? And what changes will be made to protect players?

Bringing pro sports back to life in the lockdown eraWhile the COVID-19 debate over lockdowns continues, there seems to be a consensus that professional sports leagues will open this summer to complete their 2019-20 playoffs or, for Major League Baseball, to start the season that was suspended in March. There are debates about how much players should make (MLB is at odds with the…

Will fans flock to stadiums after COVID-19?

Will fans flock to stadiums after COVID-19?@NateSilver538: “Y'all can do whatever you want but I'm going to a f-load of concerts, baseball games, restaurants, etc. as soon as this is over.” There are, no doubt, many people who would agree with the FiveThirtyEight.com pollster that they will sow some oats when the powers that be come to their senses and let…

NFL draft gives starving sports fans a morsel

But many questions remain about restarting professional sports, including how all those enormous salaries will be paid

NFL draft gives starving sports fans a morselWith virtually no sports competition in North America in this COVID-19-blighted spring, the National Football League draft this week has taken on epic proportions. The fact that the teams and the players they select starting on Thursday may not even play in 2020 is irrelevant. We finally have a sporting event on TV that you…

How to satisfy sports fans’ burning desire for games

How to satisfy sports fans’ burning desire for gamesDesperate times call for desperate measures. Or, as they say in pro sports, desperate times call for divisional realignment. With the COVID-19 pandemic having applied the brakes to (virtually) everything sporting since early March, fans are going stir crazy. So, with hints that U.S. President Donald Trump might do a limited reopening of economic activity…

Play ball! The COVID-19 sports conundrum

You can see the appeal for Trump to use sports to help restore normalcy as he heads for the November presidential election

Play ball! The COVID-19 sports conundrumOn the list of important issues in this troubled time, American President Donald Trump conducting a conference call with the commissioners of 11 sports leagues isn’t high on the priority list. But on Saturday, Trump convened a chat with the people leading these professional leagues – all of whom (except World Wrestling Entertainment, some horse…

How do we shake China’s firm grasp after COVID-19?

We have surrendered far too much control of the economy to the Chinese, from sports equipment to broader supply chains

How do we shake China’s firm grasp after COVID-19?We’ve apparently reached halftime in the media’s battle against COVID-19, and the savants are doing highlight packs of the big plays and terrible mistakes made so far. It’s not a pretty picture. It would be nice if we could use the sports system of replays to go back and correct a few things from a…

Sports is the canary in the COVID-19 coal mine

So when will sports be resumed and how can they play a role in transitioning to normalcy again?

Sports is the canary in the COVID-19 coal mineCanada hasn’t been a trailblazer in much of the response to COVID-19. The federal government has been a day late and a quarantine short on some crucial issues. But in becoming the first major Western nation to completely withdraw from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Canada has made a bold step. Now, an avalanche…

Don’t expect a pandemic to slow down the NFL

The league has a new deal with players, free-agency frenzy begins this week and big-time bargaining for TV rights is on the horizon

Don’t expect a pandemic to slow down the NFLThe National Football League has always thought it doesn’t play by the same rules as everyone else, so it shouldn’t be a total shock that – in the midst of a global pandemic – the league announced its new collective bargaining agreement with players that will take it through 2030. It also announced that it…

Blowing coronavirus all out of proportion

Politicians and sports officials, wary of a negative media broadside, are taking no chances about infection. If they have to hobble the economy, then so be it

Blowing coronavirus all out of proportionLike dominoes, high-profile sports and cultural events are falling to the spectre of the coronavirus threat. The 2020 World Women’s Championship of hockey in Halifax was cancelled last weekend. This week’s Indian Wells ATP/WTA tennis tournament has been cancelled over the perceived coronavirus threat. The LPGA cancelled an entire three-event swing through Asia. Chicago State…

Dissecting Canada’s NHL underachievers

We could see as many as five Canadians teams in the playoffs – but more likely we’ll see two or three at this pace

Dissecting Canada’s NHL underachieversFor fans of Canada’s seven embattled National Hockey League teams, the man from Zamboni is a suitable talisman of their frustration. As most everyone now knows, a 42-year-old Zamboni driver – a kidney-transplant Zamboni driver – stepped in for the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in Toronto to defeat the listless Leafs 6-3. When both…
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