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.

Noontime’s Sunday Sports Movies

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s a rainy Sunday, which means many of us, including myself, will be searching for a good movie to watch – maybe two (or three)?

And some of us, like myself, may want to watch a sports movie since there are no live games on television due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

So, with many of us searching for a new or old movie to watch this morning or afternoon, here are some suggestions from Noontime Sports, enjoy!

42. Hands down, this is one of my favorite baseball movies. I actually watched this film last weekend – it fills your baseball void, I swear!

Travel back to the late 1940s to learn about Jackie Robinson‘s first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, which saw the Blue and White win the National League and advance to the 1947 World Series against the New York Yankees.

The Express. Sticking the historical theme – I majored in American Studies, so I love history! – jump back in time with your football and shoulder pads to learn about Ernie Davis, who was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

Davis, who is played by Rob Brown, is recruited to play college football at Syracuse University by both head coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid) and Jim Brown, who is one of the greatest halfbacks in the National Football League (NFL).

Miracle. So, I am currently reading Mike Eruzione‘s The Making of a Miracle, which means I will probably watch this movie once I finish. And if you are craving some hockey with the National Hockey League (NHL) at a standstill, then consider cheering on the 1980 U.S.A. men’s team, which defeated both the Soviet Union and Finland to win the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

The Replacements. Alright, let’s switch gears from historical movies to a comedy.

Gene Hackman inherits a team of replacements during a professional football strike that needs to win three of its final four contests to reach the playoffs. And for the team to reach the postseason, Hackman will need quarterback Shane Falco, who is played by Keanu Reeves, to guide his offense.

Space Jam. Missing basketball, especially the Boston Celtics, then consider rooting for the Tune Squad, which is made up of some of your favorite Looney Tunes characters, as well as … Michael Jordan.

61*. Director Billy Crystal, who happens to be a die-hard New York Yankees fan, takes you back to 1961 when both Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle begin their respective quests to break Babe Ruth‘s 1927 single-season home run record.

Draft Day. We’re 25 days away from the 2020 NFL Draft, so get ready to celebrate your team’s initial pick by seeing who the Cleveland Browns will select in the 2014 Draft. Kevin Costner, who is the team’s general manager, seems to know his team needs a bit more than newly acquired head coach Denis Leary.

Additional movies to watch:

  • Moneyball (baseball)
  • The Blind Side (football)
  • Invictus (rugby)
  • Glory Road (basketball)
  • Coach Carter (basketball)
  • Million Dollar Baby (boxing)
  • Cinderella Man (boxing)
  • Remember the Titans (football)
  • Slap Shot (hockey)
  • A League of Their Own (baseball)
  • Hoosiers (basketball)
  • Bull Durham (baseball)
  • The Mighty Ducks (hockey)
  • Rudy (football)
  • The Sandlot (baseball)
  • Eight Men Out (baseball)
  • Field of Dreams (baseball)
  • Happy Gilmore (golf)

As always, be well, stay safe, and think optimistically, friends – we will continue to get through this time and we’ll be back soon with some new content! 

Report: Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Agree To Deal

By Matt Noonan 

Tom Brady announced earlier today that he was going to continue his football journey this upcoming season not with New England, but another team. And that other team happens to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

According to reports this evening, including a recent tweet from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Media, Brady has an agreement in place to earn $30 million per year.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ original logo. (PHOTO COURTESY: Pintrest.com)

Brady joins a Bruce Arians squad that was previously led by quarterback Jameis Winston and concluded the 2019 season with a 7-9 record.

Tamp Bay inherits a signal-caller that has won six Super Bowl championships and 219 regular-season games, along with with30 postseason contests, too.

According to ProFootballTalk.com, demand for season tickets has surged in Tampa Bay.

Commentary: Are You Ready For Life Without Sports?

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Are you ready for life without sports? (PHOTO COURTESY: CubesAndPiii on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

Get ready for a few weeks and months without sports – it is going to happen.

Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), both this week and over the past few weeks, sports are going to take a backseat. And I am fine with that decision.

The health and well-being of our athletes, coaches, team representatives, and of course, the fans, is what matters most during this time.

I know many fans are upset – what will I do without sports? – while others believe the games (and practices) must go on. But I believe the only way we can return to the field and bleachers is by adhering to the advice of our doctors, health officials, and scientists, not angry parents or fans.

The decision to halt professional, college and high school sports was certainly not an easy one, but again, this decision, a domino effect on Thursday after the NBA suspended its season late Wednesday evening, was the right thing to do. And again, I know many, including college and high school seniors, were extremely distraught to hear their dreams of competing for a March Madness title or state championship would not occur, so I sympathize with these men and women, including the high school seniors that may not get a chance to compete this spring on the baseball or softball diamond or even the school’s outdoor track.

So, with really no local games or college basketball to watch today, tomorrow, and Sunday, I guess it is time to embark into a world that won’t include sports, but instead concerns over the well-being of our family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

Will we read more books?

Will we binge-watch, both old and new shows?

Will we get outside and soak in the sun (when its nice, of course)?

Or will we just hunker down and wait for the apocalypse of the coronavirus to vanish?

No matter what happens, life will be different – I guarantee it – but as I mentioned earlier today in my ‘Daily Noontime,’ we will persevere and come back stronger. And that is because I am an optimist.

While I know many of you may find life quite boring and odd these next few weeks and months without sports, just remember that our favorite teams and athletes will eventually reemerge. But until that time comes, we just need to smile, laugh, and find something else to do to keep us preoccupied while we anxiously await the return of professional, college, and high school sports.

COVID-19 Cancels March Madness, NCAA Winter & Spring Championships

By Matt Noonan 

Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the NCAA has decided to cancel both its winter and spring championships for all three divisions, including March Madness, which was supposed to occur next week without fans in the stands.

The announcement of the cancelations was made this afternoon through a statement, which was seen both on the NCAA website and social media. The statement from the NCAA was the following:

Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.

Shortly after the cancelations were announced, D3Hoops.com confirmed both D-III tournaments were canceled, including contests that were scheduled to take place this weekend at Amherst CollegeBowdoin College, and Tufts University.

As noted in the report on D3Hoops.com this afternoon, the Tufts men’s basketball team learned of the news on a bus ride to Brockport, New York. The Jumbos were scheduled to tip-off on Saturday, March 14th against the College of Brockport in the third round of the NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Prior to the NCAA announcement, multiple professional leagues began suspending its current season, including Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Hockey League (NHL). Additionally, both Major League Baseball (MLB) and Minor League Baseball (MLB) announced they would be delaying the start of their respective seasons for two weeks.

Finally, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) announced they were canceling both its basketball and hockey championships this weekend.