"We were given a job to do if we wanted our games back, a very simple job, and we couldn’t do it," says Sally Jenkins, adding: "If there is one thing sports teaches, it’s that just wanting to win is not enough. You have to do the work, or you’re going to fail and maybe even embarrass yourself. You can’t cheat the grind, or you’ll lose every time. In this case, the work was easy. Wear a mask. Stay home unless it’s a real emergency. It’s not exactly running wind sprints up hills. Americans still didn’t do it. Itching to get out, pale and restless, lethal in our boredom and urge to self-gratify, we’ve been unable to sit the hell down and stay there. Instead we’ve club-crawled and dined until swollen on lemon pepper chicken rub and store-bought icing...You can’t blame the league commissioners of MLB, the NHL, the NBA and the NFL for trying to resume play. They’re trying to get people paid. Their interests are aligned with fans, sponsors, media and especially with networks desperate to salvage programming inventory and revenue. All of them want to return to normalcy as quickly and safely as possible at peril of economic catastrophe. Don’t we? But as a nation, we didn’t do the work to make it happen. We cheated the grind. Germans did the work. They’re watching soccer. South Koreans did the work. They’re watching baseball — in person. Italians didn’t at first but then did do the work, and now they’re planning a partial reopening of their stadiums in September, and the famed opera house La Scala just announced a fall schedule of concerts. But over here, we’re dealing with not one but two viruses. In addition to the coronavirus, we’ve got the pathogen of American smugness." ALSO: There's no good way to restart professional sports during a pandemic -- trying to do it anyway is stupid, selfish, and dangerous.
TOPICS: Major League Baseball, College Football, Coronavirus, NBA, NFL, NHL, Sports, WNBA