Blowin' Smoke Presented by Weston Tobacco
What's more fun than us giving you a chance to mock us every single week? In our new feature, Blowin' Smoke presented by Weston Tobacco, we will do that each and every Thursday. Gabe DeArmond and Mitchell Forde will make five predictions almost sure to go wrong every week in this space. These will range from big games to big picture predictions with a bit of the comedic and absurd mixed in most weeks as well. On to this week's predictions.
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1) Major League Baseball is talking about maybe playing games in empty spring training complexes with no fans and everyone involved under complete quarantine. Do you think this happens?
Mitchell: think it's possible, but I lean toward thinking it will not happen. There are two main reasons why. One, I know testing for COVID-19 has become much more widely available, but I'm still not sure we're to a point where it would be deemed publicly acceptable to use hundreds to thousands of tests so athletes can play a game. The second reason goes back to the first: I don't think most realize how many people an endeavor like this would require. You would need, of course, a 25-man roster for each of the 30 teams. But you have to prepare for injuries, so you'd also have to include at least 10 (maybe more) minor-leaguers for each team. Then you have all the coaching staffs and medical staffs. Then, I assume at least some media would be present, at least for radio and television? We're talking about trying to not only get about 1,200 to 1,500 people together safely, but trying to make sure none of those people break quarantine. That's a big ask. And you'd have to test that whole population pretty much every day, because if they're all using the same facilities and one person gets the disease, they're all at greater risk for contracting the disease. Bottom line: I do think we're nearing a point where we need to get creative to try to get some aspects of the economy back to normal, but I'm not sure baseball is important enough to be worth the resources or risk.
Gabe: I just don't see it. To me, if you have to alter things that much, you're admitting up front there's a decent risk factor. I saw the Oakland A's said on Wednesday that they wouldn't want to do anything that involves risk. I just don't see the players signing off on it. I know they're losing money right now, but they're still going to get something like 70% of their pay even if there is no season (that number could be off, I'm going from memory) and let's be honest, a pretty good portion of major league players don't have to have the money. Plus you're asking them to move completely away from their families for five months. I know they're on the road a lot anyway, but I just don't see them signing off.
2) How many transfers does Mizzou basketball take in this class?
Mitchell: I'll say one. I think Cuonzo Martin and his staff would like to add more than one, but the competition is always so thick for transfers that can make any sort of an impact, it's hard to envision Mizzou landing two. Unless you count junior college players as transfers, that is. I wouldn't be surprised if the staff adds another junior college player late in the class to fill out the roster.
Gabe: I think they'll get two. I think they'll get a graduate transfer and then I think they'll add a more traditional transfer, maybe one that isn't even in the portal at this point in time. Cuonzo likes the summer additions so I could see that being the second one.
3) Mizzou has three players exploring the draft process. How many of them come back?
Gabe: My head says all three are back, but if you take three college students and tell them they have to make a decision, the odds are good at least one of them makes a bad decision--or at least one that most people wouldn't make. I'm not going to speculate on which one doesn't come back (I think it's safe to say Mitchell Smith does), but I could see one of them deciding they've played for free long enough.
Mitchell: I think all three will return. If the draft process were normal, I probably would pick at least one to stay in the draft, but since, in all likelihood, there won't be a combine or workouts in front of scouts or anything like that, none of the three will have much of a chance to work himself up draft boards, and I think right now all three would be told they are unlikely to be drafted. There's a chance someone like Jeremiah Tilmon could decide he's shown what he can do at this point in his college career and it's time to start making money, even if it's overseas, rather than using another year to play for free, but I think coming off his injury Tilmon feels he has a bit more to prove at Missouri.
4) When does the college football season start (give me a date)?
Mitchell: I'll say Sept. 5, without much conviction. I don't think summer workouts will happen, but I still think teams will find a way to start camp in early August. Move the "Week Zero" games to Labor Day weekend, give everyone a month to prepare for the season and have a huge return weekend with games all three days of the long weekend. Some coaches would hate the idea of going months without seeing their players then only having about five weeks to prep for the season-opener, but it would at least be a level playing field for everyone, and most of these athletics departments desperately need football to happen.
Gabe: I want you to be right. God, I want you to be right. But I don't think you are going to be. I'll go with October 5th, which would be a four-week delay. I'm not sure if that means they're going to have to alter the season or if it means they just push everything back four weeks and play through Christmas break.
5) Not a prediction, but what's the first thing you'll do when things get back to normal and you're allowed to do things?
Gabe: The very first thing I'll probably do is take my wife and kid somewhere to sit down and eat. But the first major thing I want to do is drive to South Dakota to take my oldest and his girlfriend out to celebrate his college graduation. The actual ceremony was supposed to be May 23rd and that's already not happening. And I don't think I'll probably get the all clear to be able to drive up there and go to a restaurant and stay in a hotel by then. But pretty much as soon as we get that clearance afterward, we'll make the seven-hour drive and take the kids out for a nice meal. So many people are missing once in a lifetime events like that. It makes me sad. I mean, we always kind of figured he'd manage to graduate from college, but it's still going to suck if we can't be there to celebrate it with him. After that, some nice day, I'm getting together with friends to play golf and then going to Logboat and sitting on the lawn and having a Snapper in the sun.
Mitchell: Get together as many of my friends as I can and watch a sporting event on TV. I don't care if it's at a bar or a house or whatever (just not my apartment because I'm tired of being here). I've been lucky in that my primary hobby (fishing) has still been allowed during the quarantine, but I miss being able to catch up with people in person, and I certainly miss watching sports. This would allow me to combine the two.