Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Tokyo 2020/2021 Olympics are off ... or not ... maybe

Will the Games go on?
Will the Games go on?
Image: Getty Images

It would be very….I guess we call it “this age” as 2021 hasn’t really separated itself from 2020 yet, for leagues like the NBA, NHL, various soccer leagues, and UEFA as a whole to avoid the Olympics like the plague, and then watch them canceled.

Earlier on Thursday, The Times of London reported that Japan was deadset on not hosting the games and they would have to be canceled. At this point, it would be too late to find an alternative venue, unless the IOC allowed Vladimir Putin or a protege to completely bulldoze some area of their country and put it up there. And they just might!

The idea of having hundreds of thousands flocking to Japan during a pandemic — and the odds that this would all be over by the end of July seems a crock — is a nightmare that even the IOC wouldn’t lower themselves to. Well, they absolutely would, but it still seems unlikely, if only because we have to believe that to hold some semblance of humanity.

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Still, the IOC and the Japanese government immediately went into damage control/denial to say that the Games were still on, as far as they knew. Even having a TV-only, empty-stadium Olympics seems far-fetched...but then again a Winter Games in Russia’s summer resort town seemed far-fetched, yet that happened. However, playing the Games would still involve 14,000 athletes and however many members of their support staff descending on Tokyo. How did 1,200 work for the Australian Open right now?

The IOC will definitely push for a TV-event, because their money is almost all in the TV contracts. And NBC, the biggest partner, banks so much of its rep and programming on having the Olympics; they are not going to let go lightly.

It’s still untenable, and no matter how much money the IOC or their TV partners wave at the Japanese government, they’re actual adults. They’re already $25B in the hole on this anyway, and at some point it’s just sunk cost. This won’t be the first report of the Games going up in smoke.

If the Games were canceled, it would be worth watching to see what the NBA and NHL, and perhaps UEFA do. All of them have tried to cram seasons into far-too-short windows to avoid going into a TV battle with the Olympics. Should the Games go away, would the NBA and NHL extend out their playoffs to give themselves more time to make up postponed games and give the players a rest? Maybe even extend out to where the vaccine would allow fans in stadiums/arenas? Would UEFA push back Euro 2020/1 and give domestic leagues more time to finish out their season without the crunch of trying to finish up before the Olympics? UEFA would love to have fans for their showpiece tournament, and if holding until the middle or end of July would do that...who knows?

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A lot of dominoes could fall.


Let’s get silly. Usually, the MLS Superdraft is hardly worth paying attention to, especially as more and more American soccer prospects eschew college for academies here or head off to Europe.

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And then the Chicago Fire did this:

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Sometimes you just have to admit defeat as a writer. There’s nothing to add to this. If I asked you to sketch out a player named Mitch Guitar, and first you’d pour your beer over my head if I made such a suggestion, this is what you’d come up with. MITCH GUITAR. This is simply the best thing to happen to MLS in its history. It’s not even close.


Here’s Nathan MacKinnon turning something called Mikey Anderson into a crash-test dummy:

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On principle, this is what MacKinnon must do to someone called Mikey Anderson. It’s a law of nature. You don’t see a lion doing karaoke of “Take Me To The Pilot” with an antelope, do you?


And now, the Bernie Meme that should end all Bernie memes:

We can't be too careful. Two guys in an airport...talking? It's a little fishy.

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