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Billings Gazette Sports Five on Five

Billings Gazette Sports Five on Five


1. If you were a pro athlete, would you return to play or opt out due to coronavirus?

Jeff Welsch: Depends on the depth of safety precautions taken, but the idea of a steady diet of airports, hotels, restaurants and close interactions with other athletes would give me pause regardless.

Mike Scherting: Even under the best of conditions (whatever those are at this time) I'd be very hesitant.

Victor Flores: It's so context dependent. Do I have underlying health issues? What's my family situation? How good is my team? Will my job be secure if I opt out? I'd at least be hesitant to play.

Lindsay Rossmiller: Agreed Victor. There's a bunch of factors that are almost impossible to consider without being in that situation.

Greg Rachac: If I felt like the plan was good enough I think I'd play. Guess we'll find out soon if the plans are good enough.

2. There's talk of the college football season being pushed back to the spring. Should it be?

Jeff Welsch: Without a doubt. Though I have my doubts whether this country has the stamina or willpower, we need these next five months to knock down the virus the way Europe and Asia have.

Mike Scherting: I don't see how we'll be ready for football in the fall. Then the question is, will players have enough of an off-season to start up again August 2021 after finishing their spring season in, what ... May? June?

Victor Flores: It doesn't hurt to take more time to prepare, especially because the fall outlook gets more dire by the day. It might be brighter (knock on wood) in the spring.

Lindsay Rossmiller: I'm having a tough time planning a few weeks out, much less months. Who knows where we'll be by fall or spring? I don't envy those making the decisions.

Greg Rachac: Unless things change drastically in the next two weeks (anyone out there think they will?) there may not be much of a choice.

3. What impact will Cam Newton have with the Patriots?

Jeff Welsch: He's a rare talent, but can he stay healthy? And more important, how good is he at deflating footballs?

Mike Scherting: Let's see, Matt Cassel won 11 games for the Patriots in 2008, so if Cam can stay on the field, he should have quite an impact.

Victor Flores: It's almost impossible for a guy that talented coached by Belichick and McDaniels not to succeed... if he stays healthy, which is a huge if.

Lindsay Rossmiller: I'm just picturing post-game press conferences with Cam Newton's expression of his style right next to Bill Belichick's cut-off hoodies.

Greg Rachac: Hopefully a bunch of interceptions and losses.

4. What is your thought on the NFL shortening its preseason to two games?

Jeff Welsch: Has there ever been a bigger waste of time, energy and healthy bodies than the NFL preseason? I'm falling asleep even just thinking about two games.

Mike Scherting: It's about time.

Victor Flores: I would love to meet someone who is upset about this reduction. (Correction: I would not actually love to meet that person.)

Lindsay Rossmiller: I'm always in the "wake me up when regular season games start" camp anyway.

Greg Rachac: Great news. This makes up for the universal designated hitter or legalizing the two-line pass, know what I mean?

5. It seems to be the pressing question of the day: Mask or no mask?

Jeff Welsch: The tribal resistance in the face (pun intended) of overwhelming data is absurd. If we can adjust to losing the "freedom" of blowing cigarette smoke in someone's face and driving drunk, we can adjust to masks. #MaskUpMT.

Mike Scherting: I shake my head at those who get so bent out of shape about wearing masks. What's the big deal? Mask it up.

Victor Flores: Wearing a mask is like using a turn signal while driving. It's mainly meant to protect others, and safety improves the more people use it. At the very least, it doesn't hurt to use one.

Lindsay Rossmiller: It's a relatively easy thing we can do to help, so, yes to the mask.

Greg Rachac: You want sports in the fall? Mask up when necessary. And try to keep that physical distance. It's important.


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