It’s been another big week in sport so let’s go through my Top 5 Sporting Moments of the Week!
5. Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Dak Prescott, was carted off the field after suffering a horrific ankle injury during a tackle. In the third quarter of the Cowboys game against the New York Giants, Prescott got caught in a tackle leaving him with a compound right ankle fracture and dislocation. Luckily, his surgery was successful, and he can now begin a lengthy rehabilitation process. It is devastating news for the Dallas Cowboys who have had so much potential over the past few seasons but failed to perform at the critical moments.
4. The Sydney Roosters and Parramatta Eels are knocked out of the NRL finals. The Roosters were the reigning Premiers but were outplayed by a brave Canberra team who weren’t afraid of the challenge. Moreover, the Parramatta Eels were convincingly knocked out by the Rabbitohs after a series of errors late in the game. Bring on the Prelims!
3. Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal win the French Open! Swiatek became the first player from Poland to win a Grand Slam singles title and didn’t even lose a set along the way! Also, at 19 years of age, she is the younger French Open women’s champion since Monica Seles in 1992. Rafael Nadal also dominated his final against Novak Djokovic to claim his unprecedented 13th French Open and 20th Grand Slam, tying Roger Federer’s record.
2. Australia and New Zealand settle for a 16-16 draw in their first Bledisloe Cup match of 2020. Australia came incredibly close to an upset win in Wellington, but neither side was able to find the winning points. 31,000 fans also packed into Wellington Stadium as almost all COVID-19 restrictions have been eased in New Zealand. An incredible sight to see and it is predicted that nearly 47,000 fans will watch the second match at Eden Park this Sunday.
1. The LA Lakers win the NBA Championship! The Miami Heat put up a commendable fight, even winning two games when many predicted a clean sweep, but the Lakers proved too strong. Led by arguably the greatest player of all time, Lebron James, and supported by future All-Star Anthony Davis, the Lakers determination and teamwork powered them to a dominant Game 6 and another NBA finals victory for one of the most successful franchises of all time.
Feature Article: Why the NFL will be cancelled
When sport began to start up again, many organisation and competitions were forced to be creative to ensure player, staff and community safety.
The UFC decided to hold events in a quarantined section of Abu Dhabi. The NBA decided to create a bubble in Florida where anyone entering the bubble had to be tested. Even in Australia, the AFL made a bubble in Queensland to ensure that the competition could run smoothly. These strategies have so far been effective, and many sports are starting to thrive again, even without the crowds.
But obviously, the NFL wasn’t watching. This is even more remarkable as this was all happening during the NFL’s offseason. They had plenty of time to see what other sports were doing and prepare for the new NFL season in September. But their strategy has monumentally failed, and the NFL is at risk of losing their season altogether.
The NFL did not create a bubble. The NFL left it up to individual stadiums regarding crowds, and they relied entirely on the self-discipline of every player and coach, the flexibility of schedule makers, and an overwhelmingly great deal of luck. This year’s competition is almost destined to come to an end.
Despite numerous teams dealing with positive COVID-19 cases, including an outbreak that has affected as many as 23 players and staff of the Tennessee Titans, the NFL has pushed forward with its season with little interruption, opting to continually shift the schedule of future games rather than pausing competition. On Sunday, 8 more games were rescheduled, and we are only in Week 5 of 17. There are many more games to be played before the playoffs, and I fear we won’t even reach that point.
The NFL has now moved to test for COVID-19 on game days starting from this week and masks are now mandatory for all staff and officials. The league still won’t consider a bubble due to the immense logistical costs of such a project, but the league may have no choice. The NFL needs to start making courageous decisions, or else we may not see much more of the NFL this season.