Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the opinions du jour.
n Mountain State sports fans just can’t seem to win for losing.
Partisan fans from across the state of West Virginia were looking forward to some bragging rights when Best Virginia played Herd That in “The Basketball Tournament” on July 5 in Columbus, Ohio and televised by ESPN.
It was the perfect first-round matchup.
Best Virginia, a team led by former West Virginia University basketball standouts such as Juwan Staten and Da’Sean Butler, would play Herd That, a team led by former Marshall University hoops standouts such as Jon Elmore, Stevie Browning and Ryan Taylor.
Finally, state sports fans would have something to watch.
But not anymore.
We just can’t seem to catch a break from COVID-19.
Yes, it just got us again.
One of Best Virginia’s players tested positive for the coronavirus. According to TBT officials, Best Virginia still could have competed without the ill teammate. But since the remaining players would have faced a 14-day quarantine and multiple testing, the team decided to pull out of the tournament.
So, now, Herd That will face Playing for Jimmy V, which features former Gonzaga star Josh Perkins and Marques Townes of Loyola-Chicago fame, on July 5 in Nationwide Arena.
That’s better than nothing, of course.
But what a shame we lost a chance to watch WVU and Marshall alumni basketball teams square off.
n Dr. Anthony Fauci is an expert on COVID-19.
But could he also be a masked version of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”?
It depends on your point of view.
For anyone who is climbing the walls in need of football because of not being able to tolerate a single minute more of watching Korean Baseball, full contact corn hole or celebrity curling, he’s “The Grinch.”
And for those who aren’t eagerly anticipating football … well, forget it, they’re probably not reading this anyway.
Here’s the problem.
In May, Fauci told us it could be “feasible” for NFL football teams to play in empty stadiums in 2020. But, now, he has changed his tune. Fauci’s new stance is players would have to be “essentially in a bubble” to avoid a league-wide outbreak.
What’s up, Doc?
Which one is it?
“If there is a second wave,” Fauci told CNN, “which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”
It also was Fauci’s opinion that players would have to be “insulated from the community” and “tested nearly every day.”
In other words, Fauci is saying football teams would have to copy the “bubble” format that the NBA and MLS are planning to utilize.
“Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci was quoted.
Now, Fauci isn’t setting the rules for the NFL. He’s just offering advice, as he was quoted as saying in a Monday Washington Post story.
“I haven’t set any strict conditions or other directions for the football league,” Fauci said. “They have come to me and asked me from a medical standpoint a bunch of questions about risks. They are a very competent group of people and they will make up their own minds.”
A bubble could be feasible for the NFL. It could follow the NBA and soccer’s lead and isolate players at the start of the season. But what about college football? There isn’t any way to implement the same isolation protocols for players on college campuses.
So, where does that leave sports fans?
In a state of flux.
Will there be college football? Will the NFL be playing? Or will we be sport-less in Seattle?
Including – I have a feeling – Dr. Fauci.