Fandango’s Splish-Splash (22 July 2020)

Wednesday. Fandango’s Provocative Question once again. I’m going to do things a little differently today, but when the One Word challenge is also cynical…. well, most every single one of my posts would fit, so I’m going to combine the two.

Time to address this week’s FPQ, which is:

Have you missed profession and/or college sports since the seasons were either cancelled or suspended in March? How do you feel about the timing of the return of sports, especially given the surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, at least in the United States?

Okay, first of all, let me explain the situation in the UK, then I’ll try to apply the questions as best I can. Most of our professional sports are back, probably over the last six weeks. The first to go back was horse racing, I think, but the biggie, soccer, went back maybe a month ago.

They are doing these sports behind closed doors – public not admitted.

Straight away, that tells you something. What’s the use of playing a sport if you don’t allow spectators? It is for the gambling, no other purpose. So let’s be clear that money is the driver here.

Honing in on soccer in particular (because I have no knowledge of anything else), from a health perspective, the games themselves are zero-risk, because the players are known to be uninfected before the start. As known as can be, anyhow. They are tested twice a week. So they can tackle each other, and kiss each other when someone scores a goal, doesn’t matter. None of them is infected, anyhow.

That’s about where we are in the UK. I guess all professional sport is similar, I have no clue about amateur sport. Amateur sport usually gets left way behind when anything happens.

There’s a slight aside here, in that all the soccer (the highest league, anyhow) is televised. The TV company adds canned crowd noise to what is basically a silent stadium. If you haven’t heard it, you have no idea how fake it all sounds. But, you know, small potatoes.

On to the questions.

Have you missed profession and/or college sports since the seasons were either cancelled or suspended in March?

Not much. I don’t abhor sport, but I can take it or leave it. As you probably surmised, I am not a gambler, and I am pretty anti-gambling.

Probably the two things I missed the most were the Giro (Italy) and the Tour (France), two of the three main cycling races. But even that is dampened down, now that I don’t cycle myself any more.

How do you feel about the timing of the return of sports, especially given the surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, at least in the United States?

I am relaxed about it. In the UK at least, even playing sport (as a player) is as small a risk as possible, so why should I, an armchair spectator, care?


Here’s the rub, though. Thought I was finished? Sorry.

I am a diabetic and a stroke survivor. Just in terms of statistics, I am probably at a higher risk than an ordinary member of the public. I have never even been offered a single test. Not one, since February.

But I don’t want to make this about me. I’m fortunate in that I speak to a cross-section of about 20 people regularly, each week, through my charity work. None of them has been tested, either. Despite the fact that each and every one of them is over seventy years old. I know maybe a half dozen Brits on here. It might be fallible reasoning, but none of them has ever mentioned being tested. Same with my contacts on Facebook.

Premier League soccer players are tested twice a week.

I’m not gonna rant here, but the end of this I have a couplew of simple questions.

  • How come?
  • Why does a soccer player get preferential treatment over any one of my contacts?

Author: Mister Bump UK

Formerly Stroke Survivor UK. Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

20 thoughts on “Fandango’s Splish-Splash (22 July 2020)”

  1. I must agree with the comment above; money again. In Be the professional football will start at the beginning of August, without the public. Players are being tested as well.
    I think people in carehomes are being tested and staff too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right, but maybe there’s more to it than that? That works in the US model, but all of our public health systems are supposed to be independent of resources. But certainly, some people are considered more worthy than others, whether that is just because money is involved, I don’t know.
      I don’t know whether players are being tested by public or private healthcare providers.
      I suppose it could be that our soccer authorities have sourced test kits privately somehow, although you’d have thought a government would have unlimited buying power. I would have thought, at the moment, that anything private would have taken a back seat.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pierre thinks it’s private and that each team buys them and tests themselves.
        The must go – probably – go on.
        Are there any new restrictions in the UK yet? Are you too ‘waiting’ for the 2nd wave? Here they are debating what to do and we’ll hear about it Thursday. Some precautions are being put in place independently in the province from Saturday.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nationally, getting rid of restrictions.
          But the government is identifying local hotspots and returning them to full lockdown.
          It is perverse, because you can literally walk down a street – one side is in lockdown, the other not.
          The thing I am annoyed about is – how do they know a place is a hot spot? Of course, they have data to support the conclusion. My argument is that we should all have that data.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well on transparency and data, we are going to be required to leave name and phone number when we enter ‘somewhere’.
            I know some ‘hotspots’ already where people aren’t going to be happy to do that.
            I wonder what will become of that contact ‘tracing’ method and the privacy laws.
            Here it’s by province that data are being displayed, not per day but more an overview of the past days. It’s all rising!

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    1. The channels here even had audio options about what type of sound to listen to (we call it the “red button”, because that is the button on the Sky remote). None of the options were “shut the fup”.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Since I’m not a citizen of the U.K., and I don’t give two figs about any sport you could name, I have no reason to weigh in, but I’ll give you my cynical opinion of ‘Why’ all the same.

    We have a saying over here in the United States that goes “money talks and bullshit walks” – which is a way of saying (to me anyway – it’s open to vast interpretation) that if one is wealthy, one automatically gets preferential treatment. Rich folks (which most professional sports players are in the USA) can buy or bribe their way to the front of the queue (line); and that includes being tested and when there’s a vaccine, buying that.

    I suspect, don’t know for certain, that your soccer players over your way fall in the same type of category. Maybe it’s like the expensive race horse…an investment for the owner and therefore valuable enough to keep ‘healthy’. I AM very sorry to hear that just like America, Britain is letting their most vulnerable and least wealthy segment of population (the elderly and infirm) go hang. Perhaps a commentary on how today’s world IS. How very sad.

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    1. You are undoubtedly right, and yes, our soccer stars will earn millions per year. And you can imagine the structure around soccer at that level is big business.
      Where the UK & Europe are different to the US is that we have healthcare systems which supposedly put resources to one side. But something has gone wrong.

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  3. Interesting note on transparency and data. Here in Melb, Victoria, you may have noticed I’ve been ranting a bit about our state government’s role in our latest disastrous COVID outbreak. This morning on local radio, the announcer was saying to listeners, that despite daily calls to the premier’s office, he receives no answer to his messages asking for data and information. We are not being told significant data other than the daily numbers of infected, not ages, geographical locations, anything. Except when they die (which is increasing rapidly). I would think, that in this situation, information is paramount. You know, forewarned is forearmed, knowledge is power, that kind of thing. Today is the first day of mandatory mask-wearing when outside our own homes, and of course I wear one, but don’t you reckon that a little bit of knowledge-sharing from the government might help to alleviate concerns and fears in the public as well as a sense of ‘we’re all in this together’ (which is the message they keep ramming down our throats).

    On another interesting note, my daughter’s primary school notified us all that one student has tested positive. With the rampant numbers it was inevitable, but still sad to hear about. The student hasn’t been onsite with symptoms, highlighting at least the positives behind extending school holidays by one week, and of course remote learning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seen your rants? Oooooh, that’s a “does my bum look big in this?” question – there is no right answer 😆😆😆.
      In all seriousness, though, I absolutely agree with you. We get national numbers (which have been very useful), but now (here) the virus is controlled enough that it is worth looking as locally as possible, to the point where we should be able to ask each individual hospital. Not about individual patients, but broad-brush stuff like how many tests they’ve been doing, how many positives they’ve had etc. I see this as pretty vital, because if you’re thinking about going out, you might come to a different conclusion if there are 0 cases locally, or if there are 100! The hospitals – not only do they not publish that information, but when I specifically requested it, they refused to disclose it.
      It’s not as if they don’t already know this information, not as if I am asking them to undertake some big form-filling exercise, because they pass these numbers on to the government, so they must know them privately, just don’t publish them.
      A rant of my own!

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      1. Gah! Pressed send too early!
        Hubster still avoids those sort of questions/comments…better to remain quiet and safe 🤣 And yes, agree with you on broadstroke info. It would prove helpful to so many.

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    2. On your “question with no right answer”, btw, of course, I’m reading them! It is duly noted that you’re as fucked off with your useless government, as I am with mine.
      I have family just outside Adelaide, which makes me interested anyway in Aus.
      But at least some of them are bush-burning Morrison supporters, so I’m never sure how much of what I hear is actually true. You know that saying about “can’t choose your family” ? – absolutely true, except in my case I have very little family at all now, so I keep in touch with them. I get by, by avoiding the subject of politics with them.

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      1. Nah, you can trust what they’re saying 😀 I was reading today that Morrison is experiencing high approval ratings from both conservatives (expected) and Labor (for some reason we drop the ‘u’) voters in the way he’s handling the crisis here and its ripping the arse out of the economy. It’s pretty much across the board, from what i read. Unfortunately he can’t swoop in and slap Dan over the head for his arrogance and stupidity. 🙄🙄

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I did think at the start of this that talking about the ecomony was bs – I mean, if every single one of us lost a billion, nobody’s really lost anything, because, relative to each other, we all just stood still. But it is becoming clear that countries’ ability to handle getting out of this will make the difference between rich and poor. It is true, though, that Morrison has not featured on our news for a while – normally a sure-fire indication that he is not behaving like a dick. Our media likes to beat him up if there is an opportunity.
          Our media would never go deep enough to go to governor level, although of course I find out about the structure because I have some contacts there.

          Like

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