written by Will Schmitz ’21
After a long wait, sports around the country and the world have returned in the last month or so. Here in the United States, the NBA and NHL are deep in their postseason play with high stakes games being played nightly. In order to play as they did back in July, some changes were necessary. Both leagues elected to return to play in a “Bubble” format, with one or two locations hosting all games and teams to isolate them from any outside contact and prevent exposure to Covid-19.
The NBA made its home at Disney, with teams being housed in the resort hotels and playing their games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The level of isolation event went as far as to prohibit the ordering of takeout food and receiving it from the driver. The NHL opted to take a two-location approach, choosing Edmonton and Toronto as the host cities. They played out their regular season and began postseason play in that format. Both leagues resumed their play in late July. Meanwhile, the NFL has just returned, jumping right into play without a preseason and recently completing its second week of regular season games. Unlike the aforementioned leagues, the NFL has opted not to employ a bubble format. Rather, they are letting the teams play in their home stadiums. Some teams have even allowed a limited number of fans into the stadiums for games. They test weekly, and all players must pass a test on Saturday morning before being eligible to play on Sunday. So far, they have had zero positive tests since the season began. In week two, the effect of no preseason and limited off-season practices seems to be taking a toll on the league; Many high-profile players are sustaining injuries that could potentially rule them out for weeks or even the season. The return of sports has been widely popular and appreciated, especially after months and months of nothing to watch or report.