On Monday morning, the presidents of the universities that compromise the Big 10 conference (which is actually comprised of 14 universities) voted 12-2 to cancel the entire football season. Only Iowa and Nebraska presidents voted to play ball this fall. There was no announcement on Monday as politicians like Ted Cruz and Jim Jordan publicly pressured college presidents to press on, but Tuesday afternoon, the Big 10 Conference confirmed the news: no fall football. That means no games for the some of the biggest football programs around as Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State and others are opting out.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh published an open letter saying he wanted the team to play and thought they could do it safely, but the cold hard fact is that this virus is not contained, nowhere near contained, and flu season begins in September. Putting young people together on a college campus and then asking them to self-regulate their social-distancing during a deadly global pandemic is just straight up a recipe for disaster, especially when you consider that far too many American men are refusing to wear a mask out of fear of looking “weak.”
And how does Coach Harbaugh think he can keep players safe? College football teams have 125 players and huge numbers of support staff, from coaches, tutors, medical personnel and so on. These are big operations and there is just no way to force them to isolate from one another properly all season long. And how about player safety first for a change? LSU unveiled a new mask to keep players safe and take a look at how this went.
LSU LB Soni Fonua wearing his COVID face shield helmet: “I can’t fucking breathe under this thing!”
Senior offensive lineman Austin Deculus: “It’s like breathing in a Ziploc bag.” pic.twitter.com/NR3nCNaxXK
— Master (@MasterTes) August 2, 2020
This video from an off-campus sorority party at UNC went viral in the last week and touched off growing concern about the ability to manage the virus on college campuses. This is a glimpse of what is happening nationwide as young people who think they are invincible refuse to accept the reality and the consequences of COVID-19.
These young women right here? They are the problem. They are not alone, but they are part of the problem.
The mask-free Sturgis rally in South Dakota? They are the problem. Upwards of 250,000 men and women are gathered there this week, where there are zero mask mandates. These folks are about to become super spreaders as they hop aboard their hogs and head back to all 50 states, bringing COVID-19 and possibly an STD with them. Remember gals, if he won’t mask up for you, he’s not likely to wear a condom either.
And what is going to happen when the SEC cancels their season? SEC football fans are going to have absolutely, positively nobody else to blame but their own governors and elected representatives. When fans of Miami University and the University of Florida are twiddling their thumbs all winter and fall, they can thank Gov. Rona DeSantis and Donald Trump. Because they are “in this together” and now because of their incompetence and refusal to listen to the scientists, we are all stuck in this hell together.
When the Dawgs are kenneled all season, fans can thank Gov. Brian Kemp, who rushed to reopen the state of Georgia against all medical and scientific advice. He sued Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms when she tried to enforce a mask mandate, one that would have kept us from being in this position. So, bless your heart, Georgia fans. You can call and thank the governor and remember that even in the height of the early spread (we are back there again), Kemp and Mike Pence promoted fully reopening and eschewed mask usage.
Meanwhile, countries like Taiwan have restarted professional sports and fans are back to enjoying their favorite players. Over the weekend New Zealand hit 100 days with no new COVID-19 cases. Why? Because they look a scientific approach from the start. They listened to government officials and scientists. And they are making us look like the fools that we truly are in 2020. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a science-forward society? Also on Tuesday, New Zealand announced four new cases, but there is no doubt they will again get it under control. Because science and good government. It just goes to show how elusive and contagious this disease truly is.
For months back here in the U.S., far too many Republicans, led by Donald Trump and Mike Pence, refused to wear masks. Refused to educate the public on just how important mask usage is to containing this virus, to getting the economy back on track and to being able to enjoy sports again. And here we are. Canceling the football season to own the libs.
And as a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, nobody is more upset than I am at the idea of missing out on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs making another championship run. I already missed out on seeing my #1 ranked Kansas Jayhawks cut down the nets in April because of COVID-19. But, let’s face the facts—Republicans like Gov. Mike Parson are solely to blame. They refused all governance, abdicated all responsibility and at the end of the day, they dragged this into the fall and winter, possibly even into the spring or summer 2021. So, football fans will have a lot of quality time in the upcoming months to think about all the ways Republicans fumbled the COVID response. If an NFL head coach so humiliated his team in total failure, they’d be fired. It’s time to fire Donald Trump and all his Republican enablers. What else are you gonna do this fall?
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.