Friday roundup: Tokyo Olympics back on, NFL doesn’t understand vaccines, and other hygiene theater stories

It was yet another one of those weeks, where you finally look up from the news that’s obsessing everybody only to find that while you weren’t looking, monarch butterflies had moved to the verge of extinction. There doesn’t seem to be an end to this anytime soon — which is pretty much the motto of this website, so let’s get on with it:

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11 comments on “Friday roundup: Tokyo Olympics back on, NFL doesn’t understand vaccines, and other hygiene theater stories

  1. And on a tangent about Tokyo “2020,” I think it’s fair to wonder whether the Japanese government’s hopeless commitment to the Olympics last year also had a negative impact on its covid response, some of which is still being felt today. Shinzo Abe and co only postponed the Games last year after it became blatantly obvious to everyone but themselves that they couldn’t be held as scheduled (and even then, they stubbornly waited it out for days and weeks before they finally announced the postponement).

    Even though Japan’s covid numbers aren’t nearly as bad as those in Merica or in much of the West, seeing more than a few Asian countries more or less eradicate the virus within their own turf will have led to a lot of questions being asked of the government’s priorities. There’s a reason why pretty much every poll showed the majority of respondents expressing disapproval over their leaders’ covid response…

  2. Seattle seems like a slam dunk for expansion, with their potential ownership group, market share, and arena. I think the NBA would more likely proceed with expansion if they had a strong 2nd team to come in along with Seattle, to make an even 32 teams in the league. The list of US cities without a NBA team include Las Vegas, San Diego, Nashville, St. Louis, Kansas City, Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Tampa. No slam dunk here, like Seattle. Why not look across the border instead. Montreal has the largest metro area (>4M) in USA/Canada without a NBA team. Montreal has been connected in talks with MLB for an expansion Expos team or relocation of the Rays, but why not redirect the interest to an NBA team. NBA has been successful in Toronto, and basketball is a very international sport. Seattle and Montreal would grow the pie and add equity to the NBA.

    1. Not sure how successful the NBA would be in a French speaking, die-hard hockey city.

      Keep in mind the NBA failed in Vancouver, a city with more US transplants than Montreal.

      Of the cities you listed, Las Vegas would seem most likely. With the heavy economic impact on the hospitality industry as a result of Covid, there might be some trepidation on adding a 3rd sports franchise in such a short window.

      1. I agree with you on LV Steve… every sports league seems to have fallen in love with this particular toy after just a couple of years of NHL experience. Let’s see how popular hockey still is ten years out (or if the Raiders ever manage to become popular there).

        Vancouver failed as an NBA market because it had a woefully undercapitalised owner (Griffiths) for the first three seasons and an utterly incompetent GM (who, among many failures, publicly said he would not draft Steve Nash “just to draft a Canadian”, did draft Bryant Reeves, and also took Steve Francis despite the latter telling him outright “Do not draft me I will not play there”).

        Jackson fired his coach one season after posting just 8 wins in the first half, taking over himself and posting only 6 wins in the second half of the season. Naturally he retained his GM job for another three years after that…

        In six NBA seasons the franchise posted 60 or more losses four times (the only seasons in which they did not lose at least 60 games were their final season, in which they lost 59 games, and the lockout shortened 50 game season of ’99… in which they managed to lose 42 of their 50 games).

        This was less a market failure than a case study in organizational incompetence.

        That said, no-one has stepped forward to bring the NBA back to Vancouver, so…

    2. I’ve been mulling the possibility of an NBA team in Montreal for a while (not as owner, don’t worry…). Basketball is arguably the second most popular professional sport worldwide (at least in the northern hemisphere). And there’s also tremendous growth in basketball in native french speaking nations (the Raptors had a couple of players on their championship team who are francophones).

      It’s possible. And it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if there are a couple of rich families from Montreal who have already spoken to Adam Silver about expansion (or relocation, which seems less likely).

      Montreal would certainly be behind Seattle on the list of preferences the NBA has, but I’m not sure any of the other cities listed would necessarily be ahead of a prospective Montreal bid.

      While San Diego and St. Louis would seem to be front runners after Seattle (for market size if no other reason), both have had professional teams that moved/failed. Ditto several of the other cities mentioned. The NBA is obviously in a different place today than it was when the previous franchises left, and the Spirits/Colonels/Royals/Kings would not be indicative of a new franchise’s success or failure.

      1. What about Raleigh. It has high disposable income. I think MLB should look at this market. The NBA should too

        1. It may well have high disposable income. However, it is a relatively small city at roughly 500,000. The CSA is around 2M, which puts it in KC/Cincinnati territory. Charlotte’s CSA is about 25% larger than Raleighs. Raleigh already has a professional team resident.

          Cleveland and Pittsburgh, for comparison, have CSAs significantly larger.

          I’m not saying it couldn’t work… the NBA is already in several markets smaller than Raleigh (Milwaukee, Memphis, New Orleans…). But wouldn’t you want to tap the biggest available markets first, all things being equal?

  3. Can’t the Jackson Generals owner just ignore the contract like when the Houston Astros did when the Astros changed to an American League team despite a dusty contract requiring them to be a National League team so that Harris County would pony up money for the franchise back in the 60s?

  4. [Shared Post] Allegiant Stadium room tax revenue lagging behind needed amount

    Not a good way to come out of the chute.

  5. The NFL over the weekend was basically being disingenuous over the weekend where they were playing up the 7,500 health care workers, but then refusing to mention at all the other 14,500 people they were letting through the gate. It’s almost as if they were using the health care workers as shield against the fact they’re being horrible people in the middle of a rising pandemic.

    1. Yeah, they seem to be pretending that the vaccinated health care workers will be like nuclear control rods or something, absorbing excess virus without passing it along. Which, that’s almost certainly not how these vaccines work.

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