Two months from tonight, Week One of the regular season will end with a Monday night doubleheader. Unless it doesn’t.
Everything remains in flux as NFL training camps prepare to open, and no one knows whether pro football will be able to overcome the various hurdles that stand in the way of playing football in a pandemic that continues to spread, fueled by equal parts stupidity and selfishness with more than a dash of deliberate misinformation and distortion from media outlets hoping to get clicks and likes from people looking for someone, anyone to justify their stupid and selfish behavior.
So will there be a Week One? We put the question out to Twitter on Monday. Based on more than 20,000 responses (which is more than enough to establish a trend), 64.9 percent believe that Week One will not happen.
The construction of the regular-season schedule created a very clear sense that the league is determined to get through Week One and then, if necessary, press pause and reassess. As the virus keeps spreading and hot spots keep raging, it’s becoming harder to envision football thriving, as Dr. Anthony Fauci said several weeks back, in anything but a bubble. And at this point it’s far too late to construct a bubble for 32 teams of 53 players plus coaching staffs and practice squads and everyone else who would be kept inside the bubble for five or six months.
We’re extremely hopeful that the NFL will find a way to make it work. But we’re also realistic. Ultimately, whether the current plan works is out of the league’s control. A full 2020 season of NFL football will happen only if the virus will let it, and the virus is proving over and over again that it’s not going to be doing us any favors.