How the Super Bowl may have slowed the spread of COVID-19

33ft/iStock(NEW YORK) – On February 2, San Francisco 49ers fans were devastated after their team surrendered a late fourth quarter lead in the Super Bowl, eventually losing the game to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.  

As The Wall Street Journal sports writers Andrew Beaton and Ben Cohen pointed out this week, the loss may slowed the spread of COVID-19 in California.

Beaton discusses their story on this week’s episode of ABC's “Perspective” podcast:

“If there had been a 49ers win, there would have been a parade, and that parade could have been one of those mass spreading events.”

Beaton explains how timing played a role:

“Whether it is the decisions made by public health officials, local governments and businesses… there's a certain amount of circumstance that plays into these things. The fact that the 49ers happened to choke in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl to Patrick Mahomes may be one of those circumstances, and a victory parade would have taken place just as the first coronavirus cases were appearing in the Bay Area.”

Public officials in California have been praised for their response to COVID-19, implementing stay-at-home orders earlier than other areas did. Some health experts are hypothesizing, however, luck was a factor too.

“This isn't an original thought of mine,” Beaton says, after speaking with Dr. Bob Wachter, UCSF’s department of medicine chair, and Dr. Niraj Sehgal, the leader of the university’s COVID-19 command center.

“Doctors at the University of California, San Francisco pointed out that the result of the Super Bowl actually could have been incredibly fortuitous because the first cases of coronavirus in the United States were starting to trickle in right around then.”

In September 1918, Philadelphia held a parade to boost morale and support soldiers fighting World War I, eventually leading to many deaths in the following days and weeks from the spread of the flu. For Californians, they may not have even realized a parade for the 49ers could have presented a similar type of risk.

“This is being very much discussed by the doctors in hindsight,” Beaton explains, “But I think the interesting thing is that it's a window into how these types of things can spread.”

Listen to the rest of this past week’s highlights from Perspective here.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

5 arrested in connection with a shooting at New Jersey high school football game

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Four New Jersey men and a juvenile were arrested after shots rang out during a football game at Pleasantville High School Friday night, sending players and spectators running for cover, Atlantic County Prosecutors announced on Saturday.

A 27-year-old man is in stable condition after undergoing surgery and a 10-year-old boy is in critical condition. A 15-year-old boy who suffered a graze wound was treated and released from a nearby hospital.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said in a press release that 31-year-old Alvin Wyatt was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Michael Mack, 27; Tyrell Dorn, 28; Shahid Dixon, 27 and Vance Golden, 26, were also charged connected to the shootings and are charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and certain persons not to posses a weapon.

The juvenile offenders identification was not immediately released.

The alleged assailants were all spectators at the Friday night game between Camden High and Pleasantville. During the third quarter witnesses said shots were fired in the spectator stands.

The shooting, at Pleasantville High School near Atlantic City, continues a nationwide trend of shootings at or around high school football games that stretches back to at least August.

"Unlike some of the shootings that have occurred on school premises throughout the country, this incident had nothing to do with the students of Pleasantville High School or Camden High School," said Tyner. "The venue simply presented an opportunity for criminals to pursue their own form of petty vengeance against one another. As a result, an innocent child was caught and injured in their crossfire. Our community will not be held hostage by a few idiots intent on jeopardizing our safety and the safety of our children.”

At least a half a dozen shots were fired, according to witnesses who spoke to Philadelphia ABC station WPVI.

Video from the scene showed spectators running for safety as players and referees sought cover by lying down on the field.

"When the shooting happened, it was mayhem," said eyewitness Jonathan Diego. "I mean, it literally was just people coming in waves, running away from the right-hand side of the field towards the high school. And I think part of the fence was actually busted down from bodies of people just going over the fence. And there was just a lot of people afraid. There were kids getting separated from their parents running around the field."

The 10-year-old boy was taken by emergency crews to an area hospital and later transferred to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in serious condition, WPVI reported.

"High school playoff football should be a cause for community celebration, not the backdrop for panic and terror," said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy in a statement. "I am grateful for the lifesaving swift actions of first responders to tend to the wounded, and our prayers are with the victims for a swift and full recovery."

"We're doing everything that we can to make sure that their families and them are getting the medical care that they need," Pleasantville Police Chief Sean Riggin said.

One firearm was recovered at the scene, the chief said.

An investigation is underway and the police have already received valuable assistance from the community, Riggin added.

The game was suspended following the incident.

Afterward, officials with the Camden City School District said that no Camden students were injured in the shooting.

"We are able to confirm that no Camden High students were injured or otherwise harmed during the incident," officials said on the school district's Twitter account.

The shooting comes two months after two teens were shot during a football game at Philadelphia's Simon Gratz High School.

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That shooting, on Sept. 20, marked at least the fifth week in a row that a shooting had taken place during a high school football game in the U.S.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 11/15/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Charlotte 109, Detroit 106
Orlando 111, San Antonio 109
Houston 111, Indiana 102
Memphis 107, Utah 106
Washington 137, Minnesota 116
Oklahoma City 127, Philadelphia 119 F/OT
Boston 105, Golden State 100
L.A. Lakers 99, Sacramento 97

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Columbus 3, St. Louis 2 F/OT
New Jersey 2, Pittsburgh 1
Boston 4, Toronto 2
Montreal 5, Washington 2
Ottawa 2, Philadelphia 1

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(22)Auburn 116, CS Northridge 70
(2)Duke 74, Georgia St. 63
(21)Xavier 59, Missouri St. 56
(5)Kansas 112, Monmouth (NJ) 57
(4)Baylor 72, Texas State 63
(6)North Carolina 77, Gardner-Webb 61
(8)Gonzaga 79, Texas A&M 49
(17)Utah St. 81, NC A&T 54

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 11/15/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Charlotte 109, Detroit 106
Orlando 111, San Antonio 109
Houston 111, Indiana 102
Memphis 107, Utah 106
Washington 137, Minnesota 116
Oklahoma City 127, Philadelphia 119 F/OT
Boston 105, Golden State 100
L.A. Lakers 99, Sacramento 97

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Columbus 3, St. Louis 2 F/OT
New Jersey 2, Pittsburgh 1
Boston 4, Toronto 2
Montreal 5, Washington 2
Ottawa 2, Philadelphia 1

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(22)Auburn 116, CS Northridge 70
(2)Duke 74, Georgia St. 63
(21)Xavier 59, Missouri St. 56
(5)Kansas 112, Monmouth (NJ) 57
(4)Baylor 72, Texas State 63
(6)North Carolina 77, Gardner-Webb 61
(8)Gonzaga 79, Texas A&M 49
(17)Utah St. 81, NC A&T 54

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

NFL receiver Sterling Shepard on concussions, kids playing football

Allen Kee/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard is recovering from his second concussion of the season, but is hopeful he will see the field again in 2019.

"I'm feeling great," the Giant told ABC Audio, while volunteering for the NFL's Make A Difference Day. A father himself, Shepard was helping Pampers fulfill its commitment to install 5,000 changing tables across North America by 2021.

Shepard continued, "I've been feeling good for about two weeks now, so I'm just kind of waiting on doctors to give me the green light."

Shepard was placed in the NFL's concussion protocol after the Giants' season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys, and a few weeks later following the team's loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

He concedes "it's tough" sitting out games, including this past Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and he did not offer a specific date for when he expects to return.

Shepard has practiced on a limited basis since suffering his second concussion, however, and assures fans, "I'll be back here pretty soon and I'm looking forward to it."

Shepard also shared his feelings on youth participation in football and the play of Giants’ rookie Daniel Jones.

A soon-to-be father of two, Shepard tells ABC Audio in spite of his concussion history, he would let his children play football:

"If that's what they want to do, if that's their true passion and what they love, I'm all for it."


When discussing Jones, Shepard says the quarterback is "doing a great job passing, running, extending the play," and believes teammates "need to do a better job for him I feel like… giving him a little bit more time and catch the ball when we’re open."
 
Shepard is one of seven other NFL dads, Marvin Jones of the Detroit Lions and Derek Wolfe of the Denver Broncos among them, volunteering as part of Pampers' commitment to install changing tables.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Alabama football running back could miss season

33 ft/iStock(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) -- ESPN reports Alabama freshman Trey Sanders may have suffered a season-ending foot injury during the team's practice. Head football coach Nick Saban is expected to give an update on the running back's condition following the team's scrimmage on Saturday.

Losing Sanders would put a dent in the Crimson Tides' depth chart at running back. Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris were drafted into the NFL this past spring, leaving the team with Najee Harris, Brian Robinson Jr, and freshman Keilan Robinson at the position.

Sanders had shown promise since arriving on campus, according to Saban. He was the No. 2-ranked running back prospect by ESPN in the 2019 signing class.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Yankees general manager stopped at gunpoint by police

cmannphoto/iStock(NEW YORK) -- ESPN reports New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was pulled over and forced from his vehicle at gunpoint Friday evening after police mistook him for a suspected car thief.

Cashman told the New York Post that his white Jeep Wrangler was recently stolen, then discovered and returned to him earlier this week by New York City police. However, the NYPD did not take the vehicle off a stolen car list.

Police in the Connecticut town of Darien reportedly ran Cashman's license plates and determined it was stolen. When Cashman was pulled over, police believed they may have caught a suspected car thief.

Cashman says patrol cars pursued him as he pulled out of a gas station with their "guns drawn."

Cashman says his car is not off the stolen list. He believes the positive that comes out of this experience is, “The public should take encouragement when someone is in a stolen vehicle they’re not going to get very far."

Brian Cashman is 52-years-old and has served as the Yankees General Manager and Senior Vice President since 1998.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 8/9/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:

INTERLEAGUE
Milwaukee   6  Texas   5

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Oakland 7, Chi White Sox 0
Houston 3, Baltimore 2
Toronto 8, N-Y Yankees 2
Detroit 5, Kansas City 2
Boston 16, L-A Angels 4
Cleveland 6, Minnesota 2
Tampa Bay 5, Seattle 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Atlanta 8, Miami 4
N-Y Mets 7, Washington 6
Cincinnati 5, Chi Cubs 2
St. Louis 6, Pittsburgh 2
Arizona 3, L-A Dodgers 2, F/11
San Diego 7, Colorado 1
Philadelphia 9, San Francisco 6

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 8/5/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:

INTERLEAGUE
Cincinnati 7, L-A Angels 4
Chi Cubs 6, Oakland 5
Minnesota 5, Atlanta 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
N-Y Yankees 9, Baltimore 6
Texas 1, Cleveland 0
Chi White Sox 7, Detroit 4
Boston 7, Kansas City 5
Toronto 2, Tampa Bay 0

NATIONAL LEAGUE
N-Y Mets 6, Miami 2
Milwaukee 9, Pittsburgh 7
N-Y Mets 5, Miami 4
Philadelphia 7, Arizona 3
Washington 4, San Francisco 0
L-A Dodgers 8, St. Louis 0

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Cowboys to sign veteran running back Alfred Morris

Allen Kee/ESPN Images(OXNARD, Calif.) -- Days into Ezekiel Elliott's training camp holdout, the Dallas Cowboys announced they will sign a former member of the team to temporarily take his place.

Dallas the announcement Monday night, saying they will sign Alfred Morris, who was played for the franchise from 2016-17.

ESPN reports the Cowboys are continuing discussions with Elliott's agent regarding a contract extension, though no new agreement is imminent. Elliott is still playing under his rookie contract and is interested in signing a new deal.

The 30-year-old Morris played for the San Francisco 49ers last season and spent the first four years of his career as a member of the Washington Redskins. The Cowboys placed Elliott on the reserve/did not report list, so they did not have to make a move to add Morris to their roster.

Elliott is scheduled to make $3.853 million this season and is under contract through 2020. He is subject to a $40,000 fine for each day of training camp he misses. If Elliott does not report to training camp by Aug. 6, he will not earn an accrued season toward free agency.

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