There is no question that many put a great deal of emotional stock in sports, with the National Football League (NFL) being a firm favourite of fans everywhere. So, when the ongoing global health crisis pretty much wiped sports events from calendars, it left many in a state of disarray. Some have enjoyed the extra time they can now spend at mobile casinos in the meantime, but the hope that sports would make a quick comeback has remained strong.
But even as uncertainty remains, and the world as a whole has been turned upside down, the NFL made an announcement. Or to be more precise; they published a schedule for the NFL 2020 season. The schedule itself was unexpected, but more so that it included a full list of games, 17 weeks in total.
Response to the schedule has been split down the middle. Many are overjoyed, taking it as a sign that all will soon be well, and everyone can return to stadiums in their droves. Others, however, are seeing the schedule as a slap in the face. Suggesting that sports fans would soon be allowed, or should soon be allowed, back into stadiums, gathering in close proximity to one another, may just be extremely reckless.
A Delayed Reaction
Up until now, it seemed as if the NFL had simply been aggressively avoiding having to accept the existence of the health crisis. Though, since it just so happened that the NFL was out of season when the situation first occurred, there was no real reason for anyone to have to officially address the situation. Everything has pretty much continued as per usual, with all the expected free agency occurring, even if it has been occurring in self isolation approved virtual boardrooms.
But now, the official 2020 schedule has been posted, and it includes an entire season, as if nothing peculiar were going on at all. Yes, most are assuming that it be taken with a pinch of salt, and others are suggesting that it is simply a sign of optimism. Some, on the other hand, feel that perhaps the sporting organisers are just more aware of what is progressing in the medical world than everyone else.
Medical And Scientific Breakthroughs
According to Pro Football Talk there might be more going on behind the scenes than everyone is aware of. It was reported that those who are in contact with the NFL higher ups have been privy to the decision making process, and relayed that the internal optimism, demonstrated in the schedule, is based around progress being seen in the medical and scientific world.
Additionally, it was reported that the general consensus within the NFL seems to be that although the full schedule may undergo changes, depending on how things develop, that there is virtually no chance of there not being a season at all.
This seems to suggest that the NFL decision makers are keeping a close eye on the medical industry, and that in their opinion, the end of the year will have seen a turnaround as far as the health crisis is concerned. At least to the point that some sort of season, if not all of the season, be allowed to play out.
The Schedule As It Stands
The currently published schedule is as follows. The season will kick off on September 10th, and consist of 17 weeks. The final is to be held in Tampa Bay on February 7th. The only notable change is that two international games have been relocated, including the one that was to be held in Mexico City, and the other that was to be held in London.
Marc Ganis, sports business consultant, spoke to NBC Sports in relation to the schedule. He stated plainly that he is confident a 16 game season will be held. Though, he quickly added a few notes to that statement.
He elaborated that although a 16 game season would happen, as to when the Super Bowl would be, which teams would be able to play, and where the matches would occur, he wasn’t sure. He concluded that, very simply, as more information was made available, the biggest deciding factor on how the season played out would be how flexible teams were willing to be.
Either way, the sporting world is waiting with bated breath.