Let the (NFL) Games Begin!
The NFL draft won’t unfold in its usual, festive-like, crowd-pleasing fashion Thursday night. Yet the three-day event is still slated to go on, albeit in social distancing, high-tech meeting style.
Some folks aren’t too pleased about that. However, when I read of ESPN reporter Adam Schefter’s recent rant about the league planning business as usual while there “is carnage in the streets,” I had to weigh in with my two cents.
Yes, I get it that there are people dying. I get it that people are depressed, upset, and worn out by the bad news that is part of getting up each morning.
We have an extended family member who’s been diagnosed with COVID-19, another working on a hospital pandemic ward, and others doing high-risk healthcare daily.
To that I say: all the more reason for the NFL draft to go on.
A Calamity Developing
I’ve been around a lot of years, and I can say the current pandemic is without a doubt the biggest calamity of my lifetime.
At the end of a day, I feel worn out by the constant activity and never-ending shifts in daily plans, which now have to be written in butter.
I face the same uncertainties and questions about how far this will spread and how many lives it will claim. I cringe over the daily death tolls and the significance of lost lives.
Still, I offer two observations in rebuttal to those who want to bring everything in life to a screeching halt so we can wring our collective hands in dismay:
- Stressful times call for stress relievers.
One of the pleasures we football fans get during the off-season is reading about free agent signings, unexpected player moves, and speculation about the forthcoming draft.
The questions do date have swirled ever since the Super Bowl: Tom Brady no longer a Patriot? Where will the QB he supplanted, Jameis Winston, end up? Will Miami make Cincinnati an offer it can’t refuse to land LSU phenom Joe Burrow? And more.
Sure, we recognize the draft may be an exercise in futility. There’s no guarantee we will have a 2020 football season.
Yes, our lives have been interrupted. Our great-nephew is scheduled to graduate on Long Island in late June, but I can’t imagine there being a ceremony for us to attend.
- Remember we have survived past crises.
I saw a reminder of this in a recent blog by Lee Grady, who I worked with as a freelancer for 15 years before he departed as editor of Charisma magazine.
In “It Has Happened Before,” Lee noted the world has survived dozens of plagues.
Among them: the Black Death, which killed an estimated 60 million from 1346-53; and the Spanish flu of 1918-19, which struck 500 million worldwide and killed a fifth of the victims.
Recently in this space I mentioned the Hong Kong flu of 1968-69, which struck 500,000 people in Hong Kong and claimed nearly 34,000 lives in this country.
In short, we have been through serious situations before.
To quote Lee: “I have some good news. . . . the world isn’t ending. This virus will run its course, and the world will eventually go back to work. There is life after COVID-19. How can I say that with such assurance? Because I read history, and I know we’re not the only generation to survive a pandemic.”
Yes, tough times are likely ahead. In the meantime, Thursday night I’ll be watching news updates to see who goes where in the first round; it’s the first step towards action one day resuming. Let the games begin!