Sports leagues are trying to figure out the best path for returning to action, and while Donald Trump might want them back sooner than later, local government officials are a little more skeptical. Santa Clara County executive officer Dr. Jeffrey Smith was pessimistic on Tuesday when discussing a potential football season, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I’m sorry to say, I don’t expect to have any sports games until at least Thanksgiving, and we’d be lucky to have them by Thanksgiving,” Smith said. “This is not something that’s going to be easy to do.”
California is reporting progress in their attempts to flatten the curve as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic, reaching the point where they can send ventilators to other states dealing with their own issues.
By all accounts, Santa Clara county was particularly aggressive in their approach to the virus. As Ann Killion noted in the Chronicle article, the comments are significant in large part because of how well the county has done thus far. Even as they make progressive, their leaders are being conservative in their approach.
Killion also noted an important fact: Santa Clara county is home to the San Francisco 49ers, San Jose Sharks, San Jose Earthquakes, and major collegiate athletic programs that include Stanford, San Jose State and Santa Clara.
Considering how the past month has gone and the fact that it’s still early April, a lot can change in the coming days, weeks, and months. We don’t know how the curve flattening will operate. More importantly for those focused on the return of sports, if some states are more aggressive than others in social distancing policies, it could create issues for having all teams ready to get back to action when that time comes.
It is possible Dr. Smith is handling things as conservatively as he can so as to not have to dash hopes later. As much as sports leagues and others want to get back, there is something to be said for taking a conservative approach to make sure the country (and world) gets through the pandemic rather than opening the door for a return just as we think we’re moving past it.