The empty stadium went wild as the teams slugged it out down on the field in the season of COVID . . . .

Whether from gallantry or panic, the sample-size seasons of elite sports leagues that have lifted our spirits a bit during the pandemic restrictions, could backfire on professional teams.

Shortened schedules with cardboard cutouts in the bleachers rather than fans — unable to attend because of the COVID-19 virus — may come back to haunt team owners and league officials.

Specifically, one of the steps taken to permit the athletes to play.

Big-time sports owners and administrators deployed rapid response testing of players while ordinary people were being shut out across the country, forced to play the waiting game to find out whether they had the blasted virus.

The measure may have been necessary for the games to be played, but the very idea that our ridiculously rich jocktocracy ranks above the common folk when it comes to matters of health …. well, that unpleasant thought won’t go away soon.

That young guys who can run fast, throw far and jump high get preferential testing status in the midst of a plague — above the halt and the lame, widows and orphans, ragged immigrants, the very old and just ordinary Joes and Janes — is shameful and won’t easily be forgotten.

Sure, it was thoughtful of the sports leagues to rescue what they could of their seasons. Thanks, guys.

But by cutting in line, at a ritzy price of course, the teams played the “privilege” card to get their celebrity athletes tested before average, workaday people.

When it soaks in, that won’t set well with fans, no matter how much they love basketball, football, baseball and the other games.

Especially those older fans more susceptible to the dreadful aspects of COVID-19.

The idea that professional athletes must go to the head of the line for testing in such a time as this, putting their need to perform at peak efficiency at their jobs, above the needs of ordinary citizens, is absurd.

It’s as foolish as the thought of real people paying to see cardboard cutout athletes stuck in the grass down on the field.

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Isn’t it amazing how a little rain can brighten up the world?

When we’ve endured the kind of summer 2020 brought us in southern Arizona — so dry the trees have been chasing the dogs — it’s such a breath of fresh air to get a bit of moisture.

Ahhhhhhh …. so nice to remember what rain used to feel like, when you’ve been in a dry spell so long you forgot.

Corky Simpson is a veteran journalist who writes a column for the Green Valley News.