Hey sports fans!

Once again, I look back to World War II. Also, baseball, football, basketball, hockey and the sport of the future. Finally, 7 other things worth your time.

A month after Pearl Harbor, the commissioner of baseball wrote to President Roosevelt asking if he thought they should cancel the 1942 season.

FDR replied quickly, telling him to go ahead and play ball. His letter is known as the “Green Light Letter” and it’s in the National Archives.

One of the key lines:

“I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going. There will be fewer people unemployed and everybody will work longer hours and harder than ever before.

And that means that they ought to have a chance for recreation and for taking their minds off their work even more than before.”

Not for the first time, I find myself looking back to World War II to think about what we should be doing now.

How should life change? How should it stay the same?

The situations are different of course, in part because there was no real reason why large crowds couldn’t gather during the war. But, they’re both times of national defense against an unknown enemy.

With that in mind, here’s where the major sports leagues stand right now:

  1. Baseball

    This is what got me thinking about this. Opening Day would have been two weeks ago. The latest: MLB is is considering having all its teams play all their games in Arizona this year, starting next month (no fans in attendance).

  2. Basketball

    The NCAA men’s college basketball championship would have been this week, so that’s gone. The NBA is still talking about maybe canceling the playoffs, and even organizing a virtual game of H-O-R-S-E among “high profile players.” (I admit, I might watch.)

  3. Football

    President Trump reportedly told NFL owners that their season should start on time (September 10). As for college football, no decisions yet. Interesting note: governors where college football is huge, like Alabama and Nebraska, are telling residents to stay at home now if the want any chance of a 2020 college football season.

  4. Hockey

    The NHL is suspended. The latest report I’ve seen suggests possibly holding the playoffs in sparsely populated North Dakota.

  5. Soccer

    In the U.S., we like to say that soccer is the sport of the future — and always will be. But I’m a fan, at least as much as I am of any other sport. In Europe they’re talking about just crowning the team that was running away with the Premier League season the champion (Liverpool). Only the Belarussian league is still playing.

Beyond this of course, lots of individual events have been canceled: Wimbledon, the Olympics (pushed to 2021), etc.

It’s not that I’m a huge sports fan who can’t live without it all. I go to a few baseball games a year, maybe a hockey game or two, and I watch TV often enough.

I’d never want to rush the return of sports at the risk of health.

Still, I find myself looking to the sports leagues, to see if they can find a way to operate.

It might just be the kind of baby steps back to normality that would make a lot of people a little bit happier.

7 other things worth your time

  • New York state recorded 731 new coronavirus deaths Tuesday, its biggest one-day jump yet, but there was an encouraging sign: the average number of people newly hospitalized each day dropped over the past three days. (Associated Press)

  • And he’s out. After flying 8,000 miles to Guam to tell the crew of an aircraft carrier that their recently relieved, beloved captain was “stupid” or “naive,” the acting secretary of the navy resigned. (Task and Purpose)

  • About one-fifth of the NYPD has called out sick. It’s not clear how many have tested positive for Covid-19. (Fox 5 NY)

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says he’s giving $1 billion to fight Covid-19, and he’s tracking it all in a publicly available Google Sheet. (Me, on Inc.)

  • If you’re spending a lot of time on Zoom and your colleagues have a good sense of humor, DC Comics is giving away video conference backgrounds like the Batcave or Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. (DC Comics)

  • Verizon says it’s suspending most home installation and repairs (“minimizing our in-home installation work to critical needs”) during the pandemic. Unfortunately, of course, this is right when some people working from home need help most. (The Verge)

  • Hey if you have time on your hands… Martin Shkreli, the so-called “PhamraBro” who became famous for buying a drug patent and raising the price of the drug from $13.50 to $750 per dose but went to prison for something else, is asking for a three-month furlough so he can invent a treatment for Covid-19. (Ars Technica)

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