Brock’s Random Thoughts: On HS Sports Resuming
I was very surprised to hear on Thursday that the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) decided to resume fall practice with games starting up the weekend of September 18th (17th-19th games will be played). I fully expected for football (as well as swimming and volleyball) to be played next spring after basketball season was over with.
Personally, I don't think we should be playing football or any high-contact sport at this time. And that's because of the coronavirus numbers in Michigan. Thursday's numbers saw 685 new cases with 10 deaths. Deaths due to COVID-19 look to be under control (which is a great thing). But I believe that the new cases need to be below 300 on a daily basis before we start playing. Just my opinion.
But the reality is this (and you have to deal with reality at this point): We're playing. Or at least we'll start to play. The MHSAA has put in big rule changes to lessen the chance of the coronavirus infiltrating fall sports (infiltrating is the right word). Teams will be more spread out on the sidelines and crowds will be severely limited. If we do see a spike in coronavirus cases due to fall sports being played, you know the MHSAA along with Governor Gretchen Whitmer will not hesitate to shut things down immediately.
I do like the season format for this shortened campaign: Six regular-season games with every school (that is participating) making the playoffs automatically. The playoffs will start on time in late October and run through early December. The state final games will not be played at Ford Field in Detroit or at the Superior Dome (8-man) in Marquette this year. That's because of the inability for the stadium to be completely cleaned and sanitized between games.
The MHSAA is doing the best they can with the cards they've been dealt (try an 8-2 offsuit in poker). I just hope nobody or very few people get sick as a result of the kids playing sports. But I'm a bit skeptical at this point.
NOTE: WVFN is planning on broadcasting high school football this fall (per MHSAA and/or the individual school's permission). We will let you know in the coming days a revised schedule for high football on our airwaves this fall.