And then they dashed our hopes ...

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) released an updated “Road Map to Re-Opening Interscholastic Athletics” last week.

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Fans celebrating the success of their favorite sports team on the stands of the professional stadium. Stadium is made in 3D.

Fall sports are looking like a long shot right now. As I said earlier this summer: there’s a lot of conditions to be met, lotta hoops to jump through.

(The biggest condition, of course, if whether state public schools will be open at all come the fall. Pretty sure they can’t have athletics if the schools are closed.)

Meanwhile, guys in their 40’s and 50’s are out there playing baseball, and guys in their 60’s and 70’s are playing softball.

But the healthiest, fittest members of the community can’t play sports until every conceivable risk element has been removed.

Yeah, it’s not a perfect comparison. The adults out there playing baseball and softball are responsible for themselves. They’re not a state school system responsible for the health of thousands of students.

(In my opinion, that is the reason there may not be a fall sports season. If one student comes down with COVID-19, the lawsuits start raining down. Can’t say I blame the MPSSAA for being cautious.)

But ... are teenagers even getting sick from the coronavirus?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention web site, there have been 149 deaths attributed to COVID-19 from Feb. 1 through July 4 in the United States, in the 15-24 age bracket.

Now, that’s an odd breakdown: 15-24. Half of that age group aren’t even teenagers. Yeah, after the 1-4 age bracket, I guess they want to do the rest in 10-year increments.

Still, you would think there would be an option to narrow the focus.

From what I’ve been reading, teenagers have been basically untouched by the virus.

Of course, reopening high school sports doesn’t just involve teenagers. Adults are involved. Adults in my age group (55-64, 13,808 deaths).

Coaches and officials can wear masks and practice social distancing during practices and games, as well as obey the guidelines on sterilizing equipment before touching it.

It comes down to, are high school sports worth the possibility of someone dying? But just how much added risk is there, anyway? Just playing sports has an element of risk.

As we know, just gathering large groups of people together is dangerous, right? I mean, right?

Maybe we should just re-define things a bit: they’re not playing a sport; they’re engaged in a protest. And thus are safe from infection.

***

So a columnist in the Washington Post said this week the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team should change its name, since the actual Texas Rangers were mean, tough lawmen.

(Every week, I have to fight the urge to send an email to Washington Post writers, asking them “why are you so intent on making things hard for us little papers? You display no integrity or objectivity whatsoever, and we get accused of the same through association.”)

All right, so some people have hurt feelings over a team named after a group that had to dispense justice on the frontier.

Let’s see where this leads.

Hey, pirates were pretty nasty people, with all the robbery, rape and murder. Find yourself a new name, Pittsburgh (and yes, I know Pittsburgh’s Pirates weren’t named after seafaring pirates. You think nuance matters to these people?).

That also takes care of Tampa’s Buccaneers and ... it’s Las Vegas, now, right ... the Raiders.

“Yankees” was a slur against people from the Netherlands (and Americans, although I doubt that’s a concern for the type of folks offended by team names).

The Catholic church has been accused of bad things; so long, Saints. Are Padres Catholic? Doesn’t matter; it’s a religious-themed name, bound to hurt someone’s feelings. Padres can also be seen as reinforcing patriarchy.

Isn’t nationalism considered evil nowadays? So much for the Nationals and Patriots (Gosh, WaPo, you dedicated so much coverage to the Nationals last season. Hypocrites).

The Vikings raided towns, leaving death, defilement and looting in their wake. Tough luck, Minnesota (although some current protesters may give them a pass on that).

And the Cowboys — dang, how is it that no one’s demanded they change their name yet?

I just hope animal-rights activists never learn how the Green Bay Packers got their name.

They’ll get around to it, after they finish accusing the Ravens, Orioles, Cardinals, Bears, Falcons, etc, of exploiting animals.

And all of this, of course, is just pro baseball and football.

There’s much more outrage to be found in the NHL, NBA, NCAA, high schools ...

2020, man.

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