Back in March, men around the United States were forced to scramble to reschedule the vasectomy they had hoped to use as an excuse to take a few days off of work to catch the first round of March Madness when the basketball games that were slated to air on TruTV were replaced by yet another Impractical Jokers marathon when the NCAA was forced to cancel the tournament after the sports world came to a screeching halt.
The loss of what would’ve been an invaluable distraction at a time when we needed as many as we could get was tough to process but most fans emerged from the period of mourning and shifted their focus to a college football season that’s still shrouded in almost as much uncertainty as it was back in the spring. While the year technically kicked off when Austin Peay played Central Arkansas in an FCS matchup over the weekend, it won’t really begin until action between the FBS teams who’ve opted to try to play through the pandemic begins on Thursday night. However, at this point, there’s no telling what’s going to happen between now and the national championship game currently scheduled for January 11, 2021.
Based on what’s transpired at campuses around the country where students have gathered for the fall semester with fairly disastrous (and retroactively predictable) results, it’s hard to imagine things go off without a hitch, but the one razor-thin silver lining that would come with everything imploding is that the NCAA would have a better idea of what not to do if it decides to rise from the ashes by trying to pull off a successful college basketball season.
Earlier this month, the chair of the March Madness selection committee pledged it would be doing everything in its power to make sure the tournament is played next year, and as the NBA and NHL have shown, constructing a secure bubble to host games seems to be a more than viable strategy when it comes to navigating the current situation.
While that approach was never seriously floated while discussing ways to salvage the college football season given the variety of factors that made it an infeasible solution, it appears the NCAA has plans to harness it going forward, as trademark attorney Josh Gerben discovered the organization has filed a claim for the phrase “Battle in the Bubble” that could give us a look at how it plans to approach not only March Madness but events across college sports.
The NCAA has filed a trademark for "BATTLE IN THE BUBBLE."
The filing, made on August 26th, indicates:
1. The NCAA intends to use a bubble for potentially multiple sports.
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) August 31, 2020
As Action Network notes, NCAA president Mark Emmert has previously voiced his support for going down the bubble route, and while there are obviously plenty of logistical hurdles standing in the way when it comes to actually pulling it off, it sure looks like they’re going to try while trying to snag some of that sweet, sweet merchandising revenue in the process.