Bubble format saves pro-sports

Edward Rudman Sports Writer

The NBA bubble, after three months and zero positive COVID-19 tests, has officially ended with the Los Angeles Lakers being crowned the 2020 NBA champions after defeating the Miami Heat in six games.

The bubble seemed to be off to a rocky start when Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Lou Williams left the Disney campus, the location where the NBA set up their bubble, to go to a strip club after quarantine had begun. Since that hiccup, the bubble has had no issues.

Because of the precautions taken by the NBA, the rest of the season was completed within the time frame the league scheduled, allowing the Lakers to eventually win their 17th title as a franchise and LeBron James to win his fourth championship and Finals MVP.

“I think the NBA handled the pandemic pretty well with setting up the bubble for the playoffs, besides from a few slip ups from players leaving the bubble. It really showed promise that we can still have sports and they can still be entertaining,” said business management major Tyler Zolkowski, a junior.

With zero positive tests, the NBA proved that a bubble system can work, and it showed with the NHL as well, who set up two hub cities for the conferences to play in during the playoffs, as to decrease travel and unnecessary human contact.

Currently, the MLB and NFL seasons are ongoing, and both opted to not utilize a bubble set up for their seasons. Both leagues have had to deal with outbreaks and because of it, have had to postpone games and make changes to the schedule. The MLB had to postpone 45 games during their regular season due to positive tests, according to ESPN.

The MLB is currently using a bubble system for the playoffs. Multiple locations have been used as bubble sites for the teams to play in.

The NFL has not made any official statements, up to this point, about whether a bubble will be used for the postseason.

“The NFL should absolutely make a plan for a bubble for the playoffs and it almost seems like they should be using some sort of bubble system now because of all the outbreaks,” Zolkowski said. “I think the NFL should at least have a bubble, the same way the NBA did, for the postseason.”

The Tennessee Titans most recently had 24 members of their organization, including 13 players, beginning on Sept. 24 test positive. They were unable to practice for a two-week period in order to stop the spread of the virus, according to the NFL website.

The NFL has had other positive tests around the league, including four players from the Patriots and two from the Chiefs and Falcons. Multiple games were postponed due to the positive cases.

“The NBA and NHL showed how pro sports can still be played during the pandemic,” said marketing major Nick Thomas, a senior, “and I think the NFL should be looking for a solution to their positive cases.”

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