At first glimpse, the idea of an all-encompassing “Bubble City” for the NFL seems preposterous. But every problem has a solution.
Instead of a singular “Bubble City,” a plan with four “Bubble Cities” would work. Here’s how.
Instead of 32 teams in one locale, let’s establish four such venues. Each location would house two divisions. Teams from the AFC East and AFC West would quarantine in Dallas. Teams from the AFC North and AFC South would head to Los Angeles. The NFC East and NFC South would go to Las Vegas while the NFC North and NFC West transport to Miami. There are plenty of hotel rooms and potential practice facilities in those large metropolitan areas.
The schedule would be changed as follows:
Teams from the same division would play each other three times. Teams from the other division in their bubble would play each other twice. That gives you 17 games.
In this scenario, the Patriots would face the Jets, Dolphins, and Bills three times each, and the Chiefs, Chargers, Raiders, and Broncos twice, with all of those games being played in Dallas. Games would be played on staggered days so the facilities would be safe for players, coaches and officials. In addition, each bubble would get a bye week during the season to give players a week off and authorities ample time to sanitize the facilities.
The playoffs would consist of 16 teams, the two best records in each division would qualify. The AFC East Champion would play the AFC West second-place team in the first round while AFC East’s second-place team would face the AFC West Champ. The two winners would meet, with the winner of that game advancing to the Conference Championship Game.
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To adhere to proper testing and quarantining, there would be a bye week for the Conference Championship contestants. To keep things simple, Los Angeles would host both Conference Championship Games as well as Super Bowl LV. No city in this country is better equipped to handle such an undertaking. Since LA was scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022, simply flip-flop with Tampa, which is scheduled to host this season’s Super Bowl.
Is this perfect? No. But one can never let perfect be the enemy of good.
John Sapochetti is Co-Host of The “SAP & KAT SHOW”, which is heard on FullPressRadio.com
Follow Him On Twitter @JohnSap25