In only 13 days, the Chiefs commence the defense of their first Super Bowl win in 50 years by hosting the Texans. While that number widely is regarded as unlucky, the NFL’s luck has held up very well this year, with only one player left on the COVID-19 reserve list.
But even as the NFL handles the pandemic better than expected (and assuming/hoping its luck holds up), things may change quickly, whether it’s a rash of false positives or real positives or false negatives that lead to an outbreak. And as Mike Tirico mentioned on Thursday’s PFT Live, there will be decisions and circumstances that will seem, on the surface, to be unfair.
Already, fairness questions have emerged regarding teams without fans and teams with fans and the potential for a constant level of artificial noise in stadiums regardless of which team has the ball.
The potential for unfairness becomes part of the cost of pushing forward with a pro football season. All things considered, it’s far better to have a football season that at times may seem unfair than to have no football season at all.
This year, the goal becomes simply to get through it. To get in as many games as possible, and hopefully all 256. For now, the league’s resolve remains clear and undeniable that 16 games will be played in Week One. Then the league will hold its breath to see whether the movement of half of the teams from their home cities to the site of their games, the intermingling of players for three hours on a football field, and the return of those 16 road teams results in the kind of spike in positive cases that could derail all of part of Week Two.
We’ll see. Regardless, at least one week of football will be here very soon. Where it goes from there remains to be seen. And it will be better to have some unfairness in the football we get than to get not football at all.