Up­dated “Roadmap to Re­open­ing” may lead to nowhere

The Dundalk Eagle - - SPORTS AND RECREATION - By Bill Gates

And then they dashed our hopes ...

The Mary­land Pub­lic Sec­ondary Schools Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion (MPSSAA) re­leased an up­dated “Road Map to Re-Open­ing In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­let­ics” last week.

Fall sports are look­ing like a long shot right now. As I said ear­lier this sum­mer: there’s a lot of con­di­tions to be met, lotta hoops to jump through.

(The big­gest con­di­tion, of course, if whether state pub­lic schools will be open at all come the fall. Pretty sure they can’t have ath­let­ics if the schools are closed.)

Mean­while, guys in their 40’s and 50’s are out there play­ing base­ball, and guys in their 60’s and 70’s are play­ing soft­ball.

But the health­i­est, fittest mem­bers of the com­mu­nity can’t play sports un­til ev­ery con­ceiv­able risk el­e­ment has been re­moved.

Yeah, it’s not a per­fect com­par­i­son. The adults out there play­ing base­ball and soft­ball are re­spon­si­ble for them­selves. They’re not a state school sys­tem re­spon­si­ble for the health of thou­sands of stu­dents.

(In my opin­ion, that is the rea­son there may not be a fall sports sea­son. If one student comes down with COVID-19, the law­suits start rain­ing down. Can’t say I blame the MPSSAA for be­ing cau­tious.)

But ... are teenagers even get­ting sick from the coro­n­avirus?

Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion web site, there have been 149 deaths at­trib­uted to COVID-19 from Feb. 1 through July 4 in the United States, in the 15-24 age bracket.

Now, that’s an odd break­down: 15-24. Half of that age group aren’t even teenagers. Yeah, af­ter the 1-4 age bracket, I guess they want to do the rest in 10-year in­cre­ments.

Still, you would think there would be an op­tion to nar­row the fo­cus.

From what I’ve been read­ing, teenagers have been ba­si­cally un­touched by the virus.

Of course, re­open­ing high school sports doesn’t just in­volve teenagers. Adults are in­volved. Adults in my age group (55-64, 13,808 deaths).

Coaches and of­fi­cials can wear masks and prac­tice so­cial dis­tanc­ing dur­ing prac­tices and games, as well as obey the guide­lines on ster­il­iz­ing equip­ment be­fore touch­ing it.

It comes down to, are high school sports worth the pos­si­bil­ity of some­one dy­ing? But just how much added risk is there, any­way? Just play­ing sports has an el­e­ment of risk.

As we know, just gath­er­ing large groups of peo­ple to­gether is dan­ger­ous, right? I mean, right?

Maybe we should just re-de­fine things a bit: they’re not play­ing a sport; they’re en­gaged in a protest. And thus are safe from in­fec­tion.

***

So a colum­nist in the Wash­ing­ton Post said this week the Texas Rangers Ma­jor League Base­ball team should change its name, since the ac­tual Texas Rangers were mean, tough law­men.

(Ev­ery week, I have to fight the urge to send an email to Wash­ing­ton Post writ­ers, ask­ing them “why are you so in­tent on mak­ing things hard for us lit­tle pa­pers? You dis­play no in­tegrity or ob­jec­tiv­ity what­so­ever, and we get ac­cused of the same through as­so­ci­a­tion.”)

All right, so some peo­ple have hurt feel­ings over a team named af­ter a group that had to dis­pense jus­tice on the fron­tier.

Let’s see where leads.

Hey, pi­rates were pretty nasty peo­ple, with all the rob­bery, rape and mur­der. Find your­self a new name, Pitts­burgh (and yes, I know Pitts­burgh’s Pi­rates weren’t named af­ter sea­far­ing pi­rates. You think nu­ance mat­ters to these peo­ple?).

That also takes care of Tampa’s Buc­ca­neers and ... it’s Las Ve­gas, now, right ... the Raiders.

“Yan­kees” was a slur against peo­ple from the Nether­lands (and Amer­i­cans, al­though I doubt that’s a con­cern for the type of folks of­fended by team names).

The Catholic church has been ac­cused of bad things; so long, Saints. Are Padres Catholic? Doesn’t mat­ter; it’s a re­li­gious­themed name, bound to hurt some­one’s feel­ings. Padres can also be seen as re­in­forc­ing patriarchy. this

Isn’t na­tion­al­ism con­sid­ered evil nowa­days? So much for the Na­tion­als and Pa­tri­ots (Gosh, WaPo, you ded­i­cated so much cov­er­age to the Na­tion­als last sea­son. Hyp­ocrites).

The Vik­ings raided towns, leav­ing death, de­file­ment and loot­ing in their wake. Tough luck, Min­nesota (al­though some cur­rent pro­test­ers may give them a pass on that).

And the Cow­boys — dang, how is it that no one’s de­manded they change their name yet?

I just hope an­i­mal-rights ac­tivists never learn how the Green Bay Pack­ers got their name.

They’ll get around to it, af­ter they fin­ish ac­cus­ing the Ravens, Ori­oles, Car­di­nals, Bears, Fal­cons, etc, of ex­ploit­ing an­i­mals.

And all of this, of course, is just pro base­ball and foot­ball.

There’s much more out­rage to be found in the NHL, NBA, NCAA, high schools ...

2020, man.

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