The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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What Should the Sports World Do About the Coronavirus?

The coronavirus is real and its on our front door.

Its amazing that in 2020 we have to start by just acknowledging that yes, this is a real, actual thing.

And its not just the flu. Even if it sounds like the flu and for some people its the flu or less, its statistically deadlier than the flu by a significant rate.

Following its eruption in Italy and cases in the United States officially swelling to over 1,000, sports leagues are starting to act.

The Ivy League cancelled their post season tournament. The Mid-American and Big West conferences will play their tournaments in empty arenas.

The San Jose Sharks, Golden State Warriors and Seattle Mariners are all teams that are being directly impacted.

So what should the sports world do?

They've banned media members from locker rooms which is not nothing but its pretty close.

You can go to a Pac 12 Tournament game in Vegas this week but not a buffet.

Its never been cheaper to attend the Masters because of the coronavirus.

Are we overreacting? Under-reacting? You'll find plenty of people who believe strongly in both.

For my money, and I've spent waaaaaaay too much time on reddit, its better to be proactive in this case than reactive.

Here's my solution for the sports world:

Lets just hit pause on March. Lets move everything to April. Lets shift the sports calendar. Selfishly this would be great because it would mean one less quiet summer month but it also might be the difference between someone you know dying from the virus or not.

Logistically its a nightmare for everyone. Its travel plans, accommodations, arena usage, employee schedules, TV changes, advertising changes and more. But those can all be solved.

Even if you think that media hysteria is doing more harm than good right now, isn't it better to be proven right than wrong on that?

It wouldn't be simple, easy or perfect but postponing all sporting events in March until April makes more sense to me than playing in an empty arena or risking lives by enticing people to show up by the thousands in close proximity to each other.

The entire sports world seems to be sitting around waiting for someone to tell them what to do.

We can still have NFL free agency and the NFL Draft, they would just be done remotely so we wouldn't go completely stir crazy.

Its not what anyone wants but it feels to me like it what needs to happen in increasingly unsettling times.

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