Good afternoon, Coach. We hope you enjoyed the weekend. Here’s a few stories for you.
1. Dr. Anthony Fauci outlines a return to football (Football Morning in America)
We’re all looking for signs that football will return this summer — or at least by the fall — and this interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci isn’t all that inspiring. NBC Sports’ Peter King connected with Fauci for a discussion as to when — and how — football can return. It seems there might be a path for the NFL in the fall, but it will depend on vast testing capabilities which may not be available to high school athletes.
“I think it’s feasible that negative testing players could play to an empty stadium,” Fauci said. “Is it guaranteed? No way . . . There will be virus out there and you will know your players are negative at the time they step onto the field. You’re not endangering . . . Also, if the virus is so low that even in the general community the risk is low, then I could see filling a third of the stadium or half the stadium so people could be six feet apart. I mean, that’s something that is again feasible depending on the level of infection. I keep getting back to that: It’s going to depend. Like, right now, if you fast forward, and it is now September. The season starts. I say you can’t have a season—it’s impossible. There’s too much infection out there. It doesn’t matter what you do. But I would hope that by the time you get to September it’s not gonna be the way it is right now.”
Fauci also outlined how the virus could be spread during the course of a football game. His assertion is that it would be spread to a new person on just about every tackle.
“Sweat does not do it,” Fauci said. “This is a respiratory virus, so it’s going to be spread by shedding virus. The problem with virus shedding is that if I have it in my nasal pharynx, and it sheds and I wipe my hand against my nose—now it’s on my hand. You see, then I touch my chest or my thigh, then it’s on my chest or my thigh for at least a few hours. Sweat as such won’t transmit it. But if people are in such close contact as football players are on every single play, then that’s the perfect set up for spreading. I would think that if there is an infected football player on the field—a middle linebacker, a tackle, whoever it is it—as soon as they hit the next guy, the chances are that they will be shedding virus all over that person.
He is certain the virus will see a second wave in the fall. If that’s the case, it will depend upon the testing capabilities whether Americans can live fairly normal lives.
“As for the football season and what the fall is going to be: It will be entirely dependent on the effectiveness with which we as a society respond to the inevitable outbreak that will occur. So what are the options? If we let it just go, and we don’t have a good response, you can have an outbreak somewhat similar. Probably not as bad, because we got hit really with a 1-2 punch, particularly in New York City and New Orleans and Chicago. But we can expect an outbreak that would be serious. That’s if we do nothing. So it’s inconceivable that we would do nothing. What we’re saying is what is going to be the effectiveness of our response? . . .
“Now, even if the virus goes down dramatically in June and July and August, as the virus starts returning in the fall, it would be in my mind, shame on us if we don’t have in place all of the mechanisms to prevent it from blowing up again. In other words, enough testing to test everybody that needs to be tested. Enough testing so that when someone gets infected, you could immediately do contact tracing and isolation to prevent the infection from going to a couple of infections to hundreds of infections. That’s how you control an outbreak.
“So, practically speaking, the success or failure, the ability or not, to actually have a football season is going to depend on just on what I said . . . but what I’m really saying is it’s unpredictable depending upon how we respond in the fall.”
What is your level of confidence that football will be played at the high school level next school year?
2. TOUGH TIMES CALL FOR ENCOURAGING MESSAGES FROM ALL COACHES (AFCA)
Just a reminder that our friends at AFCA have opened a lot of their content to coaches this month — for free — as we try to sort through the stoppage in play.
This is a great story about leadership and how we all must consider ourselves leaders during this time.
Though physically separated, a phone call, text, Zoom, Skype meeting, or social media post can be used to uplift anyone and everyone. These virtual outlets allow the special community of coaches to continue connecting and supporting one another.
As you continue to virtually connect with your players, support staff, and fellow coaches, one way to implement encouraging messages is by incorporating the following hashtags on social media:
To learn more about each hashtag, read the entire article.
What will you do to inspire players and other coaches this week?
3. Phil Rivers has a high school head coaching job waiting for him (Al.com)
We saw this story over the weekend, and the first thought was, “Who is the guy holding the job for Phil Rivers while he finishes his NFL career?”
Turns out it’s the school’s athletic director, who will be happy to step aside once Rivers makes the decision to retire.
Philip Rivers will be the football coach at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Ala., pending his retirement from the NFL — whenever that happens.
“It’s a special day for me and my family really,” Rivers said. “I will probably get a little emotional. I had two childhood dreams. One was to play in the NFL, and I’m now going into my 17th season. The other was to be a high school football coach as my dad was. How blessed am I to be able to live both of those out!”
If you could do any other job as a second career, what would it be?
What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk