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Old 03-11-2020, 10:05 AM
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How should the NCAA be handling the the basketball tournament and the coronavirus?


As I watch and enjoy the big conference basketball tournament games this weekend I am wondering: should these games be going on at all? I know there is a lot of money involved, and I understand fan and player desire to have these games.

But the risk for so many people in such close quarters seems unnecessary. It is after all just a game. Should we be holding such events right now?
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:19 AM
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Yes. The paranoia is insane. I’d certainly be going.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:21 AM
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Play the games in empty arenas, or cancel them.

That's what all spectator sports should be doing right now. The more social distancing we do now, the less of a disaster May and June will be. Exponential growth is a sonuvabitch.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Play the games in empty arenas, or cancel them.

That's what all spectator sports should be doing right now. The more social distancing we do now, the less of a disaster May and June will be. Exponential growth is a sonuvabitch.
The empty arena idea is weird. So much about the tournament is the atmosphere at the games, the crowd and the players feeding off each other. Take that away and you lose a lot what makes people want to watch in the first place. Canceling or postponing seems a better move than playing a vacant arena.
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Old 03-11-2020, 12:33 PM
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SI: Coronavirus is a Serious Threat, Keeping Fans Out of Arenas Should be Obvious

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Originally Posted by Biotop View Post
The empty arena idea is weird. So much about the tournament is the atmosphere at the games, the crowd and the players feeding off each other. Take that away and you lose a lot what makes people want to watch in the first place. Canceling or postponing seems a better move than playing a vacant arena.
In the case of a relatively short event like the NCAAs, that might make sense, but with the other sports, we're talking about big chunks of seasons at the very least. Wonder if people would rather watch a MLB or NBA game on TV without crowd noise, or have no season to watch at all? I bet people would rather at least be able to watch, given that they're going to be going out less before too long.

We're up against exponential growth here. As a header in the WaPo said this morning, "when a danger is growing exponentially, everything looks fine until it doesnít." We can speed up that growth or slow it down, with the main variable being how many people get exposed to how many other people in a given unit of time. And we want to slow that growth, flatten the curve, so we never hit the point where our medical resources are overloaded.

So really: one of our watchwords should be no unnecessary crowds. The crowds at sporting events are gratuitous, not necessary. Cut 'em out.
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Old 03-11-2020, 12:53 PM
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No crowds, no blackouts. Let everybody watch from home for free.

What? Networks lose money? Awwwww.
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Old 03-11-2020, 12:59 PM
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No crowds, no blackouts. Let everybody watch from home for free.

What? Networks lose money? Awwwww.
They ought to be fine - a lot more eyeballs watching the games. Plenty of ads to sell.
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:48 PM
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No crowds, no blackouts. Let everybody watch from home for free.

What? Networks lose money? Awwwww.
Isnít the entire tournament available online for free? Maybe something changed for this year.
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:55 PM
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Except we're not up against exponential growth. We're up against logistic growth.

Remember when all those people were getting the flu? You should, because it just happened this year. And last year. And the year before. And the year before that. And yet, it never reached the entire population, nor even the entire unvaccinated population. The population it reached was much smaller than the population of those whom it could have reached.
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:50 PM
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Ugh!!! No fans allowed, but at least we will have the games.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:14 PM
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Except we're not up against exponential growth. We're up against logistic growth.

Remember when all those people were getting the flu? You should, because it just happened this year. And last year. And the year before. And the year before that. And yet, it never reached the entire population, nor even the entire unvaccinated population. The population it reached was much smaller than the population of those whom it could have reached.
First flu has natural stops. People who are vaccinated and people who may have some resistance because of prior exposures are less likely pass on the flu if exposed.. Covid 19 is a new virus and there's no vaccine. Also unlike flu we don't know if there's a "covid-19 season." I'm not sure the comparisons work that well especially with the unknowns.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:54 PM
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Most viruses are more common in cold weather but for this one we don't know that now. That's why flu shots are given out in the fall. In the southern hemisphere they give out shots in our spring season, their fall.
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:43 PM
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And a lot of people also have prior exposure to coronaviruses, too.

We know that it's a logistic curve; we just don't know what the saturation level is.
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:45 PM
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Isnít the entire tournament available online for free? Maybe something changed for this year.
I thought they limited you to a few hours before you have to pay. Is it really all free online?
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:24 PM
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It was all free online in the past but not sure if they are still doing that .
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:04 PM
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Except we're not up against exponential growth. We're up against logistic growth.
Not much difference until the virus hits some sort of resistance, meaning people who've been vaccinated or already exposed and have developed antibodies. By the time that it matters that this is a logistic curve rather than exponential, we'll likely have tens of millions of Americans exposed to the coronavirus. I'd rather not take a chance that it's capable of producing far more serious cases than our health system can handle, which is something that the flu hasn't done in a century.
Quote:
Remember when all those people were getting the flu? You should, because it just happened this year. And last year. And the year before. And the year before that. And yet, it never reached the entire population, nor even the entire unvaccinated population. The population it reached was much smaller than the population of those whom it could have reached.
Well, yeah. Between people who've been vaccinated, and people who already have resistance due to being exposed and not catching it, or having been exposed to a similar strain in a different year, eventually the odds turn against the virus. And then warm weather comes along, and it's game over.
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And a lot of people also have prior exposure to coronaviruses, too.
So you have a cite that this matters?
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:40 PM
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It seems the NBA is suspending all games for the foreseeable future.

ETA:
Quote:
The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, tonight’s game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena.
The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last edited by Ike Witt; 03-11-2020 at 08:45 PM.
  #18  
Old 03-12-2020, 07:28 AM
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Major kudos to the NBA - good for them for stepping up. It isn't always easy to do the right thing, and this is going to cost them a ton of money. But it's the right thing, and they're not only doing it, they're leading the way in doing it.

Note to the NCAA, NHL, MLB: if the NBA does this, you can too.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:06 AM
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Seattle Dragons XFL team will play game without fans on Sunday.
This is after the Washington State governor banned large gatherings.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:20 AM
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NCAA: March Madness will be played without fans
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The NCAA announced in a statement Wednesday that it will hold its March Madness tournaments without fans and restrict attendance to “essential staff and limited family.”
Well done, NCAA. Good on ya.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:47 AM
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All the major basketball conferences (except the Big East) have cancelled their Men's Basketball conference tourneys.
The Big East tourney plays in Madison Square Garden in NYC - sort of nuts that that is still going on. They did have the earliest start today - I'm guessing that they cancel after this game.

I'll be shocked if the NCAA tourney isn't cancelled or postponed.

MLS, NBA and La Liga have all suspended operations for various periods of time. Expect the NHL to do the same later today - they did tell teams not to practice today.

Not sure about MLB spring training games.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:50 AM
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Jon Heyman is reporting that MLB is suspending spring training in Florida.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:52 AM
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Big 10 tourney's been cancelled.

Actually, reading that story, it looks like several conferences have cancelled their tournaments.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:53 AM
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All the major basketball conferences (except the Big East) have cancelled their Men's Basketball conference tourneys.
The Big East tourney plays in Madison Square Garden in NYC - sort of nuts that that is still going on. They did have the earliest start today - I'm guessing that they cancel after this game.

I'll be shocked if the NCAA tourney isn't cancelled or postponed.

MLS, NBA and La Liga have all suspended operations for various periods of time. Expect the NHL to do the same later today - they did tell teams not to practice today.

Not sure about MLB spring training games.
Ifs an attendee at the Big East tournament later visits Grandma and passes her covid-19 --- I'm sure her estate, through its lawyer, will request a huge amount of money.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:55 AM
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Ifs an attendee at the Big East tournament later visits Grandma and passes her covid-19 --- I'm sure her estate, through its lawyer, will request a huge amount of money.
Pretty sure they are playing without fans, but still, there's got to be a lot of people there with four games scheduled at the Garden in one day.
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:03 PM
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And it looks like the one Big East tourney game that started at noon was cancelled at halftime.
That's it for major sports for a while, folks.

I bet they cancel the PGA tourney before tomorrow (for now they said no fans starting tomorrow).
NASCAR hasn't cancelled their race for the weekend yet, but gotta imagine that is coming soon.
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:15 PM
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Huh. Looks like the MLB spring training games at 1:00 in Florida did start as scheduled. Surprised by that.
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:41 PM
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The NHL has suspended all games going forward.
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:42 PM
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NHL officially goes on hiatus.
MLB suspends spring training effective tomorrow (why wait???).
NASCAR says the next two races will be held without fans.

What the heck am I going to watch on TV????
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:51 PM
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Unless we want around 3% of the US population to die, we need to put a stop to large gatherings, or perhaps any gatherings for a while.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:02 PM
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NHL officially goes on hiatus.
MLB suspends spring training effective tomorrow (why wait???).
NASCAR says the next two races will be held without fans.

What the heck am I going to watch on TV????
Contagion, Outbreak, Zombie movies...
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:17 PM
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NHL officially goes on hiatus.
MLB suspends spring training effective tomorrow (why wait???).
NASCAR says the next two races will be held without fans.

What the heck am I going to watch on TV????
Thereís already spring training games in progress, theyíre free on MLB tv.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:26 PM
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There’s already spring training games in progress, they’re free on MLB tv.
Not for much longer. The Orioles' bus just turned around a few minutes after leaving, and the Royals/Mariners game is the only game scheduled to go in the Cactus League (and I suspect it will be cancelled shortly). MLB front office announced a bit ago that they're delaying the beginning the season, and I'd put money on spring training being cancelled by the end of the day.

As for the NCAA tournament, Kansas and Duke have withdrawn from post-season play. It's just a matter of days before the whole thing gets cancelled.

Last edited by Munch; 03-12-2020 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:28 PM
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I really don't get why the spring training games today are still going on. I know the early starts were before the announcement came out, but as one reporter wrote, "if they can cancel games for rain...".
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:29 PM
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Not for much longer. The Orioles' bus just turned around a few minutes after leaving, and the Royals/Mariners game is the only game scheduled to go in the Cactus League (and I suspect it will be cancelled shortly).
I think some of the Cactus League cancellations were weather related?
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:33 PM
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Unless we want around 3% of the US population to die, we need to put a stop to large gatherings, or perhaps any gatherings for a while.
Oh, I totally agree. It's just as a pretty rabid sports fan (if you want to know about which cricket matches have been cancelled, I can let you know) this is a fascinating, unprecedented time. I can't seem to stop following the news about all this.

I know sports are a tiny part of the big picture of what is going on, it's just something that's easy for me to relate to. Well, that, and whether my grandkids' colleges are closing down (not yet)....
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:35 PM
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Duke and Kansas have suspended all participation in all athletic events for the time being. That should put the nail in the coffin for the men's tourney.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:55 PM
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The McLaren Formula 1 team has withdrawn from this weekend's Australian Grand Prix after a team member tests positive for coronavirus. I'm surprised the race hadn't been cancelled altogether, actually. The Bahrain Grand Prix will be run without spectators and the Chinese GP has been postponed indefinitely.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:41 PM
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Duke and Kansas have suspended all participation in all athletic events for the time being. That should put the nail in the coffin for the men's tourney.
Are they really going to cancel it? How many millions of dollars will be lost?

Hey, Indian Wells must be hugely popular and it was cancelled. I couldn't believe it.
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:18 PM
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The tournament has been cancelled.
  #41  
Old 03-12-2020, 03:21 PM
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The tournament has been cancelled.
Where are you seeing this?

ETA: Just saw a headline on CNN, but no story.

Last edited by Happy Lendervedder; 03-12-2020 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:33 PM
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Where are you seeing this?

ETA: Just saw a headline on CNN, but no story.
Reported on TSN in Canada.
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:49 PM
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Wow.
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:57 PM
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I really don't get why the spring training games today are still going on. I know the early starts were before the announcement came out, but as one reporter wrote, "if they can cancel games for rain...".
The fans paid their money, parking, etc. May as well let them enjoy the game.
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Old 03-12-2020, 04:01 PM
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Hey, Indian Wells must be hugely popular and it was cancelled. I couldn't believe it.
Thatís the thing: it was cancelled BECAUSE it was popular.
  #46  
Old 03-12-2020, 04:17 PM
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Play the games in empty arenas, or cancel them.

That's what all spectator sports should be doing right now. The more social distancing we do now, the less of a disaster May and June will be.
This seemed like a pretty radical thing to say yesterday morning, but damn - thirty hours later, they've all done it.

it's like half the country suddenly woke up about this in the past day and a half. Holy fucking shit. Maryland just closed its K-12 public schools for 2 weeks.
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Old 03-12-2020, 04:58 PM
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Well shoot, I guess I won't be running a tournament pool this year.

Maybe we can do an online game of Pandemic instead?
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Old 03-12-2020, 05:00 PM
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What the Hell is ESPN going to do? after about 5 days of interviewing doctors eventually useless sports figures do we get a month of Wide World of Sports archive diving?
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:19 PM
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What the Hell is ESPN going to do? after about 5 days of interviewing doctors eventually useless sports figures do we get a month of Wide World of Sports archive diving?
I, for one, would be looking forward to Motorcycles On Ice racing and Acapulco cliff-diving from the 1970s.
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:28 PM
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What the Hell is ESPN going to do? after about 5 days of interviewing doctors eventually useless sports figures do we get a month of Wide World of Sports archive diving?
Best of Stephen A Smith? That will get them at least 15 minutes....
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