The phrase “out of an abundance of caution” is so 2020, but here we are in 2021, seeing it again.
It’s “out of an abundance of caution” that the United States won’t play Australia in men’s basketball on Friday, after Bradley Beal was ruled out for the Olympics and Jerami Grant entered health and safety protocols.
Meanwhile, Thursday brought a couple of dueling headlines: “COVID-19 infections in Tokyo hit 6-month high as post-Olympics surge feared,” from Kyodo News, and “Risk of COVID spread is ‘zero,’ IOC chief says, amid rising cases” from Reuters, a headline in which the protagonist is undermined, appropriately, before you can even take a breath.
“Risk for the other residents of the Olympic village and risk for the Japanese people is zero,” Thomas Bach said, on the same day that, in the United States, the first game back from Major League Baseball’s All-Star break between the Red Sox and Yankees had to be scrubbed because of an outbreak in the New York clubhouse — reportedly including Aaron Judge, who was just at the All-Star Game with baseball’s top players… and also Hank Aaron’s widow.
If you’re feeling like today is Flernsday, March 503, 2020, well, you’re not wrong.
And being Flernsday, it’s time for WWE Smackdown, which, at this incredibly opportune time, welcomes fans back to fill the arena in Houston tonight, and then again for “Money In The Bank” on Sunday night in Fort Worth. Are they currently in the middle of a COVID spike in Houston and Fort Worth, after months of strong progress? Yup.
The abundance of caution isn’t wrong. It’s just not a welcome sight. And it’s too bad that it isn’t being used more widely, as it hasn’t been for far too much of the pandemic.
While the USMNT of basketball had a game wiped out, the USMNT of soccer rolled to a 6-1 rout of Martinique to book a place in the Gold Cup quarterfinals. The game brought an always entertaining bit of goal-differential theater, as the Americans realized that they needed a stoppage time goal to move ahead of also-undefeated Canada in the Group B standings.
That goal did not come, so with both teams at plus-6 through two games, Canada has the edge with eight goals scored to the Americans’ seven. The 49th Parallel derby on Sunday will determine the group winner, with Canada taking the top spot in the event of a draw. The seeding doesn’t make a ton of difference, as Costa Rica and Jamaica, the top two teams in Group C, are only five spots apart in the FIFA world rankings.