Wednesday, April 01, 2020

NBA playoffs to be held in Houston during April lockdown

Moving quickly to take advantage of another month of national lockdown for the COVID-19 virus, the NBA announced today an unprecedented plan to restart their season with nearly continuous playoff games on TV throughout April.  With no other competitive sports and hundreds of millions of bored people stuck at home, TV ratings are expected to set an all-time record.

The plan involves declaring the regular season over early and bringing the 16 playoff teams to Houston to play TV-only, no-crowd games at the Toyota Center.  A "safe zone" will be established downtown involving the Toyota Center, GRB convention center, Marriott Marquis and Hilton Americas hotels.  They will receive a thorough deep-cleaning and then be strictly quarantined allowing only essential personnel, media, players and their families after passing COVID-19 tests.  The GRB convention center will be used for temporary practice courts.

Games will be scheduled back-to-back throughout the days with up to four games a day, with eastern conference games early and western conference games later to take advantage of time zone differences. Since everyone is home anyway, games don't have to just be in the evening hours to draw an audience - essentially every day will be scheduled like a weekend day with a combination of afternoon and evening games.

The NBA considered normal playoff travel schedules to crowd-less home arenas, but ultimately determined the logistics were too complex to guarantee player and personnel safety.  Since the games are TV-only anyway, it just made more sense to hold the games in a single well-controlled location, with the added benefit of not losing game days to travel.  Different locations were considered, but ultimately Houston was selected because it could offer the easiest, most-compact safe zone with an official NBA arena, top-quality hotels, and practice courts.  The central time zone is also helpful in scheduling games that work well for both the east and west coast TV markets.

When briefed on the plans, Houston officials had serious concerns, but these were alleviated when the NBA assured them they would bring their own toilet paper.


Hope you enjoyed this year's April Fools post ;-D 
(although I wish this one was real!)
Here are previous years if you missed 'em and would like a chuckle:

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At 1:11 PM, April 17, 2020, Blogger Gary said...

I (Rice alum, BA in History '65) was advocating a variable tariff on imported oil much like the one mentioned here forty years ago, albeit to a smaller audience. I did get one shot at a bigger readership, however, as the Philadelphia Inquirer printed the following. I have cut it somewhat to eliminate some no longer timely issues & meet space limitations. Also note that the impact of gasoline waste on climate change was not addressed (though already on my own worry list):
I read with sadness David Osterfeld's August 5 article, ‚“Cheap Oil
Won't Hurt the U.S.” Let us leave aside for the moment the fact that the author has consigned to oblivion tens of millions of ordinary people in the Southwest
and West who are being hurt now and being hurt badly (most of whom do not
own Cadillacs and never expressed a desire to “freeze a Yankee” (caricatures
notwithstanding). The truly frightening aspect of the article is the way
“logic” is invoked to prove that extravagant consumption is conservation and
that “draining OPEC of oil” is anti-imperialistic. ...
[C]ompanies are going out of business, skilled workers are leaving the
field without being replaced, and invaluable technological know-how is being
lost. The permanent loss of natural resources, capital, labor and technology
is hardly saving for a rainy day.
The alternate energy sources in which the author professes faith are
even more illusory. You cannot put a gust of natural gas or lump of coal in a
car's fuel tank; and the technology of conversion is being destroyed by
today's prices and government shortsightedness. All alternate sources of
energy, even conservation, are long-term processes (involving decisions
about where to live and what car to buy), not magic wands to wave at a
crisis. ... We are apt to forget how traumatic the “short
run” can be (as in 1973-1982).
Though there are many “strategic materials,” it would be hard to name any other material the loss of which would cripple us so quickly and completely. Under the banner of Free Trade, England allowed itself to become absolutely dependent on imported food in the late nineteenth century, and suffered dearly in two world wars for the extravagance. ...
But it is primarily America's future we must worry about. It is possible
to benefit from the temporary glut without mortgaging our future. This is our
greatest chance to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on the cheap. And an
oil import fee is the greatest no-lose device one can imagine. What
consumers lose at the gas pump, they gain back in tax relief (or, perhaps a
more urgent need at the moment, deficit reduction). In the process, three
important goals are served: demand remains stable, as people are
encouraged by prices to conserve; the domestic oil industry is maintained,
for the immediate relief of the producing regions of the country, and the
long-term security of everyone; alternative energy technologies, which we
shall eventually need desperately, are nurtured. ...
Marxists would suggest that it is simply another example of ideas serving economic interests: the Northeast uses its media dominance to promote short-term regional interests at the expense of the long-term good of the nation. ...The means to both peace and prosperity lie in anticipating and
planning for one's future needs. Enlightened self-interest increases one's
chances for survival; ignorant greed and stupidity lessens them.
Gary Bennett
published in The Philadelphia Inquirer in August 1986

At 1:20 PM, April 17, 2020, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Thanks Gary. I also copied your comment/op-ed over to the correct post here:


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