Peterson: The real danger to pro sports

There is no question the present conditions we’re operating under in this country are going to have long-term effects.

The effects to the professional sports world could be even more long-lasting.

The tenuous situation in major league baseball is one of the more visible ones.

MLB owners have been pushing for the start of the season — even as the players continue to balk (no pun intended) over money issues. Although they now have a 60-game schedule in place, the lords of baseball and the players frittered away any chances for an extended schedule with unproductive talks.

It’s a known fact that the large majority of sports fans in this country believe that players are overpaid. Way overpaid.

Now, these same fans are seeing the season being reduced — at last report — to a mere 50 or 60 games over the haggling over bucks.

Are those very same fans going to keep their allegiances to their favorite teams? And that’s not factoring in that most games will be played in empty stadiums to combat the COVID-19 threat.

Pro football teams face the same dilemma. But the National Football League can at least look to the fact that it plays only 17 games in a regular season, much less than baseball, hockey and basketball.

But football teams also have many more players on their rosters. That’s certain to increase the health risks for every team.

Hockey and basketball, while facing the same sets of problems Bu those sports have the advantage of possibly canceling their seasons left … starting at the normal time in October.

Will they do that is very questionable because of the lost revenues, but it would behoove them to consider all the options.

As I see it, the fans have had four months of practically no sports to watch, and many have discovered there are other things to do than sit on a sofa all day and watch the tube.

And that could be the real threat to the pros.


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