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Latest CDC recommendation on coronavirus impacts all four major sports

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Latest CDC recommendation on coronavirus impacts all four major sports

The CDC on March 15 gave a recommendation amid the coronavirus pandemic that will strongly affect the sports world.

“Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.”

This would mean that even if the NBA and NHL were to attempt to continue — or in MLB’s case, begin — its seasons before then, it would be without fans in attendance.

Here’s a look at how it would affect each of the four major sports:

NBA and NHL

With stretch runs already beginning before the NBA and NHL seasons were suspended, this recommendation would seem to put both regular seasons in jeopardy. The NHL regular season was scheduled to end on April 4, while the NBA’s final slate of games were April 15.

While speaking during an “Inside the NBA” special on TNT last Thursday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver expected the break to be for at least 30 days but seemed to be prepared for the possibility of a long suspension.

“Even if we’re out for a month, even if we’re out for six weeks, we can still restart the season," Silver said. "It might mean that then the Finals take place in July or late July. Just my feeling was that it was way premature to suggest that we had lost the season.”

For reference, the NBA Finals were expected to begin on June 4. 

You’d have to imagine this also affects the NBA draft. The NBA Combine in Chicago is scheduled for May 21-24. June 15 is the deadline for players to withdraw their names with the draft itself set to take place on June 25. Travel and crowd restriction could impact it all.

With the Flyers playing their best hockey in years, fans had their hopes on the team hoisting the Stanley Cup in late May or early June. Those hopes aren’t totally dashed but are put on hold.

The NHL Draft could also be affected by these new guidelines. The combine (June 1-6) in Buffalo, and the draft itself (June 26-27) — though it’s scheduled to be held in Montreal — may need to be pushed back.

MLB

The Phillies’ home opener was supposed to take place on March 26, against the Marlins. 

Whether baseball would want to begin its season with no fans in the crowd could affect when the season would actually start.

With the rest of spring training cancelled and the whole country being told to practice social distancing, it may also prove to be difficult for players to be ready.

"We said look, we're gonna have time to prepare for the regular season," Girardi said on MLB Network Sunday. "Kinda keep it up like your offseason workouts right before you come to spring training, if you're a pitcher and throwing some light bullpen (sessions), do that. Because we really don't know how long we're going to be out and then we don't know how long the season's going to continue. Like, will we play regular season in the month of October? So if you continue to throw five or six innings like you're used to now, you'll be out of gas in the month of October.”

It’s also fair to wonder if a 162-game season is now feasible with so many teams playing in cold weather cities.

NFL

While the NFL isn’t scheduled to play games over the next eight weeks like the other major US sports, this recommendation from the CDC will likely still mean some changes. For starters, the NFL Draft scheduled April 23-25 on the Las Vegas Strip obviously shouldn’t go on as planned. The NFL wanted a lavish, showy event and hoped to top the 600,000-plus attendance figure from last year’s draft in Nashville. The NFL can either elect to push back the draft or hold it privately and remotely. Holding it without fans seems like the more logical solution. 

Offseason workouts might also be affected. The Eagles are allowed to begin Phase 1 of their offseason program on April 20 and are allowed to hold their rookie minicamp as early as May 1. While the CDC recommendation isn’t meant to apply to daily operations, such as schools or businesses, an NFL work day isn’t exactly a normal 9-5 job. 

For reference, the Eagles’ Organized Team Activities (OTAs) began on May 21 and they led into the mandatory minicamp in mid-June. The schedule was likely going to be similar in 2020. Now, we’ll see.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

Take this quiz and we'll tell you what shore town you are

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Take this quiz and we'll tell you what shore town you are

Ah, the official start of summer is upon us, in the form of Memorial Day Weekend. 

The fresh sun will descend upon us, the sand will be hot and the waves will be strong. Maybe your favorite ice cream shop will be open or you can go for a safe bike ride, or maybe just turn on a YouTube video of the beach if you aren't heading to the shore yet. 

While MDW certainly will look a lot different this year at our shore towns of choice, one thing we can all agree on is that each town has it's own personality. 

But which shore town matches YOUR personality? Answer some Philly-centric questions and we'll tell you. 

Enjoy a safe and socially distanced MDW, folks, whether it be at the shore town that matches your personality or not.



 

John Oliver thinks Philadelphia sports fans are 'a horde of inhuman monsters'

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John Oliver thinks Philadelphia sports fans are 'a horde of inhuman monsters'

In the latest episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver focused on the state of sports. He discussed how difficult the idea of bringing back sports during a global pandemic is and reviewed some of the risks that come along with rushing back to competition. 

Oliver also took quite the shot at Philly sports fans. 

To illustrate the devastating economic impact that the coronavirus has had on many stadium workers, Oliver showed the stories of two Philadelphia-based employees.

“I have food on the table now,” Aisha Johnson, a maintenance worker at Phillies games, said. “I’m making it right at this moment, but I don’t know what tomorrow may bring.”

Oliver then decided to insert a very strong opinion. 

“It’s worth remembering that, although Philadelphia sports fans are a horde of inhuman monsters who deserve neither sympathy nor understanding, the people paid to tend to those monsters really depend on their monster money,” he said.

In his own way, Oliver did later give a little praise to a prominent Philly sports figure. He said Flyers mascot Gritty’s isolated exploits “blew [other mascots] away without even trying.” However, Oliver also commented that Gritty’s closet evolutionary relative is a “used dog toy.” 

Oliver’s segment is worth watching if you’re interested in a unique brand of humor that casually roasts Philadelphia sports, as well as an overview of the many logistical and moral issues revolving around the question of “When should sports come back?”

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.