The NFL’s legal tampering period couldn’t have come at a better time. On Monday at 11 p.m. CT, sports fans finally got a chance to indulge in something that didn’t involve COVID-19.
With nearly every major sporting event shut down due to the coronavirus, it was refreshing to sit down, stare at Twitter, poke fun at the Houston Texans for trading DeAndre Hopkins and just wait for the next transaction to be made.
For Bears fans, the first three hours were an absolute roller-coaster ride of emotions. It started when Atlanta Falcons radio reporter Paul Crane tweeted that Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Chicago were working on a potential deal.
Although I was skeptical of Crane’s source, the idea of Chicago potentially acquiring Bridgewater was intriguing. Bridgewater would signify the end of Mitch Trubisky as the starter and possibly his career with the Bears. That possibility then created some nervousness, which had nothing to do with my feelings towards Trubisky’s future, but instead the nerves revolved around if general manager Ryan Pace could actually make this move happen.
Of course, Bears fans were feeling plenty of emotions as well. As I scrolled through Twitter, some fans expressed their excitement about Bridgewater while others conveyed their disappointment. Without any new sports to talk about, seeing this balance on my Twitter timeline was somewhat comforting.
As time passed, though, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweeted that Bridgewater and the Bears were most likely not going to come to an agreement. Still, it was that uncertainty and frantic waiting for the next set of news that was exciting for every Bears fan.
Not knowing what is going to happen in any given game is a reason why we all love sports, and we all got a glimpse of that feeling again on Monday.
The next set of news quickly turned to the Bears being interested in Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles and the Bengals’ Andy Dalton. Nothing has come from all of this speculation at this time, but it did keep everyone, slightly, on edge.
But I don’t want to make it seem like I am ignoring the implications and severity of the coronavirus.
That is not my intention, but I wanted to highlight why something as simple as football gossip and players being traded to other teams can be used to create communities to discuss the importance of these moves.
It was only six days ago that the NBA was shut down, and since that happened, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about the NFL’s new league year. How could I be?
Instead of devoting time to researching potential free agents and watching more film on draft prospects, I focused on learning about the symptoms of the coronavirus. I focused on how many people have contracted the disease and how many people have unfortunately died. And I focused on understanding how our way of living was going to change.
There is no doubt, too, that learning about the disease is far greater than anything that is currently going on in sports. So, that is why I intend on keeping track of each update as they are given to us from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agency.
But I am thankful for the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period, even if it did end with the Bears signing former Packers tight end Jimmy Graham.
For a couple of hours, everything seemed normal, and that is the beauty of sports. It allows us to escape from reality, and I know I will be looking forward to the day when we can get back to those simpler times.