NESN Diary: How Current Crisis Could Create Highly Competitive Future Seasons (And Other Random Thoughts)


Apr 14, 2020

Each day during the sports pause stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, will publish a diary full of random thoughts, opinions, takeaways and other cool tidbits we’ve stumbled across in the absence of actual games. Because why not? We’re all in this together.

While we unfortunately don’t know when sports will return, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, a very bright light.

That brightness reflects the amount of sports that will be played, and likely played all at once. The fact is with the coronavirus currently pausing or suspending all professional sports, it will result in a very interesting schedule in the months (and seasons) to come.

An “informed speculation” from ESPN’s Chris Fowler earlier this week highlighted that. Fowler, speaking specifically in regards when the college football season could take place, noted three different scenarios.

First, as Fowler said during an Instagram video, the college football season starts on time. Second, it starts late and maybe gets “shortened a bit.” The third scenario, which he noted is “gaining momentum,” would be in relation to the college football season being postponed until the spring.

That got me thinking… spring football?

Of course, that wouldn’t be a best case scenario for the MLB — the ruler of the summer months — but football fans would likely be on board. Could you imagine transitioning right from the NFL season, and instead of settling for the now-dead XFL, watching meaningful football?

And it kept me thinking …

The reality is all professional sports leagues are going to have some additional, and perhaps different, competition than they’ve had in years prior. I mean, at this point, it’s not crazy to think we could have a five-sport (or more) fall with postseasons for the NBA and NHL, late-regular-into-postseason MLB, regular-season NFL, regular-season College Football and never mind golf, which may be less noteworthy to the general population, but the fact the Masters have been postponed to November, well, lets just say they’ll command a piece of the television market.

And sure, both the NHL (usually early October) and the NBA (usually late October) have competed in the fall, which we call “crossover season.” But has the NFL really competed with them?

The NFL has went up against early-to-midseason NHL and NBA, and (for a short time) the MLB postseason. But the NHL and NBA playoffs could prove a much different animal. And that’s not even taking into account a baseball season, which could be extended a bit. Thus, the playoff races make a push into the heart of the NFL season.

I have no idea what the answers will be. And admittedly, even thinking (hoping) the option will be on the table for the fall could prove unrealistic in two weeks. It’s an ever-changing landscape, unfortunately.

But the is good news? The lights will soon be the brightest they’ve ever been.

Here are some other random thoughts from the day:

— Kemba Walker recorded another assist. And it showed how the first-year Celtic guard thinks outside the box, too.

Walker on Tuesday donated headphones to Boston-area children as a way to help aid their virtual learning procedures. Of course, with the ongoing pandemic, kids are not only not missing school with their friends, but they’re forced to learn in a much different capacity than they were six weeks ago.

It’s why the gesture should, and will, be appreciated.

— Could you imagine being at your own house, in the comfort of you’re living room, but literally not being able to drink your favorite Powerade or eat a Reece’s?

That will be the case for the 2020 NFL Draft prospects on April 23. The NFL released a memo, obtained by The Action Network, that has listed what they can eat, drink and wear during the virtual draft.

It all relates to the NFL’s partners being showcased during the Draft. Instead, the league is sending a “welcome kit” with, for example, Gatorade and Snickers.

— Do you find yourself wondering how often the Patriots trade up or trade back? Do you remember thinking that they never trade with one team, but do with another? Or are you currently thinking they could trade into the top 10 and draft a quarterback using a future pick?

NESN’s Zack Cox provided those answers and more as he dove into the “Anatomy of a Patriots Draft Trade” on Tuesday. We highly recommend you give it a read.

Tweet of the Day

We’re happy for Charlotte Wilder today.

The FOX Sports writer released a Pulitzer Prize-worthy piece, which, to many, will mirror the reporting from Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward during the Watergate scandal. WIlder’s subject, admittedly a bit different, was Tom Brady’s TB Times, and everything that went into it.

You can read it here.

Video of the Day

Celtics’ president of basketball operations Danny Ainge not only showed off the jumper and his ball handling, but he also threw some pretty comical shade at superstar Jayson Tatum. Tatum, as you may have heard, hasn’t touched a basketball since the quarantine started.

Buy one video, get one free. You’re welcome.

Stat of the Day

Mel Kiper Jr. has six quarterbacks set to be drafted in the top 50 in his newly-released Mock Draft. Of those six teams, Kiper believes five will take a quarterback with highest pick they ever have in their respective franchise’s history.

Of note, Kiper has the Patriots selecting Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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