SAN DIEGO — “Opting out” has become The Lost Year’s two-word sports catchphrase — for those who for various reasons don’t want themselves or their loved ones to catch The Damn Thing.
Among the athletes opting out of playing their particular sports because of the covert threat of COVID-19, 67 of them are NFL players.
The Mighty 67. Good for you.
It has created so much stir, so much interest — at a time when we need all the stir and interest we can gather — that Pro Football Focus actually is rating the opt outs.
Sadly, The League placed a deadline (Thursday) for those wishing to forego the 2020 season — one in which everyone who didn’t opt out eventually may have no choice but to sit, anyway.
You can’t put a deadline on health and welfare.
The NFL, bastion of hypocrisy and avarice, sees only what it wants — billions from the TV networks, who bathe in the high ratings — and makes things up as it goes along.
And yet there are those out there blasting the opt-outs for chickening out.
Deion Sanders has called out the opt-outs, saying, “The game will go on without you.”
Deion misses the point, as he missed tackles.
At least the colleges allow a player who has opted out to return without punishment, but no matter. College football is not going to start on time (the MAC has canceled fall football, the first FBS domino).
Many, if not most, of the pros who decided to sit this one out have reasons other than their personal health. There are illnesses or susceptibilities in the family, or their wives are pregnant.
And, face it, most of them have made enough money to go on hiatus without financial fear. It’s not worth it.
College players, a slew of whom are rebelling — and rightfully have grave concerns their universities aren’t handling this properly — have their futures to worry about.
None is beholden to idiots who can’t wait to gamble on them and watch them run into one another. NFL players are passing on millions. Decisions are both easy and hard.
What has appalled me most of all during this pandemic is the idiocy and totally uncaring attitude of so many Americans — most of them young, some not so young.
How can you possibly be cold-blooded to the point that these players should play for your enjoyment, regardless of the consequences? These are the ones who refuse to wear masks, hold mass mask burnings, who party hearty, who flaunt the law, who spit on children who are wearing masks.
Unlike many of us, players can’t stay home and do their jobs. There are great, brave people out there trying to protect us, even the callous idiots.
I say this NFL season is going to be pushed back, but they will try to play. For the money.
I also say bravo to The Mighty 67. There probably should be more of you.
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