Today the Dallas Morning News published an op-ed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. In it he argues, as the headline states, “It’s Time to Play Sports Again With Fans in the Stands” by limiting crowd size to, oh, 30 percent of stadium capacity. You know, just to pick a number because why not 30? I would like to make three comments on three passages from his argument.
1. Patrick writes, “I don’t believe Anthony Fauci should anoint himself as the commissioner of sports and tell the owners, players, and fans what to do.” To Patrick, I reply: I don’t think your face should anoint itself commissioner. That might sound juvenile. But it’s the only way I can think of to respond to such a chuckleheaded line about Fauci, who is an American hero trying to save lives.
2. Patrick writes, “Tickets will clearly state that fans waive liability if they should become ill.” Why would owners be concerned about liability? Oh, right. Because they acknowledge that fans might become ill. In other words, this plan is risky. Because it is being concocted not by a virologist but by a man who offers as his credentials his previous experience as a TV and radio sportscaster.
3. Patrick writes, “I know fans, and I have faith they will be responsible.” Here is the first sentence from a 2017 story in the News: “A 30-year-old Cowboys fan was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2015 shooting in the AT&T Stadium parking lot.” Not fair? Did I pick an extreme case to make my point? OK, go to a grocery store and tell me how many people follow the dang one-way arrows on the aisle floors. If people can’t do that, I don’t see how we can have faith that they’ll conduct themselves in a socially responsible manner at a sporting event.
I am not impressed.