Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Sports re-starting, but there’s still a long way to go
Saints Panthers Football
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

 

The fight against COVID-19 has been miserable, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sports are making a comeback.

The UFC is holding fights, albeit in empty arena. NASCAR has resumed its 2020 season with races on Sunday and Wednesday. The German Bundesliga has taken the field. The NCAA announced college athletes will be able to return to campus within two weeks. The PGA will hit the links on June 11. Major League Baseball’s boys of summer are hoping to play ball at the beginning of July.

Fans, not to mention participants, are itching for their favorite past times to return. Each of these re-starts is a step toward the return of sports as we know them.

For many New Orleanians, eyes are cast on the fall. The return of football is paramount.

With six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater taking the starting job for the Carolina Panthers, the NFC South has experienced the most upheaval of any division in the NFL this offseason.

The excitement is growing, so too is the trash talking.

A few weeks ago, I wrote that although he hadn’t said it, Brady’s move to Tampa was made so that he could better challenge Saints QB Drew Brees for the NFL career records for passing TDs and yardage.

This week, Brady admitted he might not catch Brees’ records, but he could keep Brees and the Saints from winning the NFC South and an automatic playoffs birth.

Saints head coach Sean Payton responded in an Instagram Live conversation with NFL Network’s Kay Adams, via NOLA.com, saying, “We want to quiet the cannons. That’s what I texted Tom. I said “Hashtag, keep the cannons quiet,’” referring to the replica pirate ship in the Buccaneer’s stadium that fires cannon shots for every point Tampa scores.

The NFL has bought into the excitement for the matchup between New Orleans and Tampa and has scheduled the showdown with a national televised game in Week 1.

Sports leagues around the world have lost billions of dollars as the world has battled this pandemic. We have and continue to take precautions in hope that science and medicine can understand, better fight, and defeat the disease.

The return of sports is a marker that we are winning the fight. But, it’s too soon to spike the football and dance in the endzone.

If you want life to return to “normal,” including the return of fall sports, continue to take precautions and make smart decisions. If we all work toward this common goal, the light at the end of the tunnel may lead us through. If not, the light may well prove to be a speeding locomotive barreling toward us.

 

 

Categories: The Pennant Chase
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