Commentary: Should The NFL Press The Pause Button?

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Should the NFL press the pause button due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)? (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s business as usual for the National Football League (NFL).

The NFL Draft will be held later this month followed by a full season of football (it seems), beginning in September.

Care to disagree with commissioner Roger Goodell‘s plan to hold the draft later this month, then expect some sort of “disciplinary action.”

I get it, we all miss sports and need something to distract us during this unusual time. And while I go back-and-forth on this topic – should the league shutdown or press the pause button? – I do welcome Goodell’s decision as a much-needed distraction.

Having the 2020 NFL Draft on your calendar provides everyone with something to look forward to during a time that has forced many of us to stay home and consume grim reports (and concerns) about the growing number of individuals that have contracted the coronavirus (COVID-19).

But while the NFL Draft is one thing, I don’t think it is right for the league to announce on the final day of March that the entire 2020 season will be played “in front of fans.” And the reason I say this is because nobody seems to know when life, as we knew it from a few weeks back, will resume and permit gatherings of more than 10 people.

I get providing a glimmer of hope and optimism, but doesn’t it seem a bit premature to be expecting life to resume to normal during a time when Saturdays feel like Mondays?

As someone that is an optimist and looks at the glass half full, not half empty, I think it is way too early to be making plans for the fall. Instead, the NFL (and any other league) should just continue to think optimistically (like I am doing at this time) and engage with fans on a weekly or bi-weekly basis with updates on scheduled dates, times, and events.

Sports (and everything else) will resume eventually, but not this evening or tomorrow. And while I do welcome any sort of hope (and optimism) about not living in a world that feels like an eerie science fiction novel, I think it would be best for all leagues, along with any upcoming events and public gatherings to step on the breaks instead of implying that life will be normal at the end of the summer or early fall.

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