Last week was a good week. Fitness sessions were to begin this month, winter sports practices were beginning in December and actual games were to start the first week of January.

This week ... well, all of those events signaling the return of high school sports in Baltimore County are still on as scheduled.

But some pessimism is creeping in.

With the reported rise in the rate of COVID-19 infections in the county, several coaches and administrators aren't confident sports will return as scheduled.

Some members of the school system feel county schools won't even return to in-person instruction in February, as planned.

Maybe if we just described sporting events as "Joe Biden Victory Rallies" it would be safe to bring back sports. 

***

On Saturday some prominent Democrat with several hundred thousand followers tweeted a photo of thousands of people tightly packed together, with an approving comment about celebrating Biden's victory.

A few hours later that same day, the same person tweeted a photo of Notre Dame fans flooding the field after their football team upset Clemson, with a scolding comment describing them as helping to spread coronavirus.

After being called on it, he replied the Biden fans were celebrating something important (which apparently makes one immune to the virus), while the Notre Dame fans were just happy about the outcome "of a sports game."

So, not only a hypocrite, but condescending as well. And they wonder why people would still vote for Trump.

***

Consider this: Democrats and their allies have spent four years saying Donald Trump is unfit for office; that he's a racist, sexist would-be tyrant; that he's dangerous; that he's responsible for over 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus; and that he's a threat to our democracy.

That makes election fraud by the Democrats not just empty, paranoid speculation, but a certainty. They simply can't let such a man be re-elected. It would be their duty to take whatever action necessary to prevent him from staying in office.

Just something to keep in mind during the turbulent weeks ahead of us.

***

So there's this thing called "The Trump Accountability Project," where people can add names to a list of "Trump supporters" to be held accountable "once the legal framework is in place."

Encouraging people to turn in fellow citizens as enemies of the state. No, that doesn't resemble an authoritarian-style government at all.

(Incidentally, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - among others - also supports this.)

***

Anyway, back to sports. Although, with so many professional athletes and teams injecting themselves into politics, the line is really blurred, anyway.

(Anyone think maybe the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks wouldn't have been upset by Miami in the NBA playoffs had they kept their focus on the games?)

You want conspiracies? How about a Cowboys pass being intercepted to kill a Dallas, drive, while what looked like defensive holding by Pittsburgh wasn't called?

Immediately afterwards, the Steelers lose a fumble that is recovered by Dallas in the red zone, but the turnover is negated by an illegal contact penalty against Dallas when it sure looked like the Steeler receiver just fell down?

On what turned out to be Pittsburgh's game-winning drive, the Steelers throw an incomplete pass; then comes a flag for roughing the passer against the Cowboys. The defender's hand looked to brush the quarterback's helmet, so technically a penalty ...

Could be I just don't like the Steelers all that much.

***

So I read NFL game previews written by analysts, and they're heavy on stats, rankings, percentage chance of success on third down, on fourth down, percent of times they run the ball or pass in various situations and it's like, huh?

Football is a game of matchups and strength of schedule. More often than not, success on a certain play is determined by whether or not your key players in critical positions are better than their opponents.

Specific plays are often called because of what are considered to be favorable player matchups. That's why, when a backup defensive back has to enter a game due to the starter being injured, teams will immediately throw at him.

Football seasons are also too short to compile a useful data set. Football teams do not play every other team in the league in their seasons, and may go years between playing specific opponents.

Sure, stats can be fun. Lamar Jackson tied Dan Marino with 25 wins in his first 30 starts for the league record.

(Why 30 starts? Football seasons have been 16 games since around 1978 or so. Why not the first 32 starts? First 48?

Russell Wilson has 91 wins in his first nine seasons, tying Peyton Manning. That's an odd spot to pick.)

Then there's the whole problem with quarterback "wins." Both Jackson and Marino played for outstanding teams. Jackson benefits from a good defense, a solid offensive line and arguably the best placekicker in the league.

The two quarterbacks in second place, with 24 wins, are Roger Staubach and Kurt Warner.

Staubach took over a team that had just been to the Super Bowl, and immediately took them to another with the help of the "Doomsday Defense." 

(Of course, this time the Cowboys won.)

Warner had "the Greatest Show on Turf" - excellent receivers, good offensive line and a defense that showed it mettle in the Super Bowl when the Titans slowed the Rams offense.

Yeah, a good quarterback can lift a good team, but can't do it alone. John Elway didn't start winning Super Bowls until he could hand off to Terrell Davis.

***

There was an article in the Washington Post analyzing why the Los Angeles Chargers have given up so many double-digit leads this year. Easy - weird stuff happens in a small sample size.

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