The coronavirus had a big weekend. Really big.
First, the President of the United States and everybody around him, it seems, was stricken.
Then, on Saturday, the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots, Cam Newton, tested positive for COVID-19. The Pats’ game was postponed.
Who’s next, the Pope?
Joking aside, this is real.
It’s always been real, and I’ve known a few people that have had it — some unknowingly, some sick as dogs for a few weeks.
For the most part, though, I’ve gone about my business, covering sports and sports personalities, in these weird times. As noted before, nothing has been weirder than watching a big play in the NFL done in silence.
I’ve sat in the stands twice for Patriots games, and I’m not used to it yet. Not even close.
But this is different now.
The Patriots are world-renowned. A majority of people care about them, though most of those emotions are not positive.
The Pats are sort of like the President Donald Trump of the NFL.
New England’s game in Kansas City has been in limbo since Newton’s announcement was made Saturday. The fact a Chiefs player also tested positive led to a postponement. The NFL hopes to play the game Monday night at 7:05, if no more positive test results are returned.
For Pats fans, it’s tough. Patriots games, at least around here, are usually the top event of a weekend.
And when that top event of the weekend goes awry, the next 24 hours have a “funeral” feeling to them.
But then we realize, at least I hope we do, real life dwarfs a Sunday football game in early October — even if it involves the world’s greatest athlete, Patrick Mahomes.
Major League Baseball, really the players, got one of these wakeup calls three days into their season.
It was learned the Miami Marlins had 18 players test positive for the virus. It was also learned most of those said Marlins “congregated” at a hotel bar and later a private night club, sans the masks.
Kids ... or twentysomethings ... just feel invincible. Been there and done that.
“Everybody has to take this more seriously,” said then-Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. “This is a wakeup call for all of us. ... We all have to give up something, some freedom.”
MLB adjusted, and other than some small outbreaks with the Cardinals, Reds and Mets, causing some postponements or cancellations, baseball has conducted business as usual in this different sort of usual as the postseason has entered its second round without — knock on wood — a hitch.
The NFL has to be even stricter than its baseball brothers, with 125 or more people part of the team — players, coaches and staff — working together six days a week.
If one ball boy messes up and heads to even a small party, it could blow up a team’s week or season.
The NFL went without a positive test the first three weeks of this season. Then came the Titans outbreak, which is at 18 people — nine players and nine staff/coaches, including a player and two staffers testing positive Saturday.
The Titans-Steelers game, which included two undefeated teams at 3-0, scheduled for Sunday, was moved to Week 7. That game, technically speaking was more meaningful, with seeding implications, than the Pats-Chiefs game.
But why quibble over meaningless scenarios when there are more serious issues at stake.
As good as the undefeated Titans, Steelers and Chiefs are, they aren’t as powerful as this virus.