On the surface, this is a story about football. But in reality this is a story about insanity vs. sanity, rationality vs. irrationality, and courage vs. fear.
This morning, Dan Patrick announced on his radio show that he had been informed by a source that the Big Ten Conference held a closed-doors vote and that the 14 university presidents of the conference voted 12-2 to cancel the season, with only Iowa and Nebraska voting to play.
However, later in the day apparently the Big Ten tried to walk back that story:
Could they have leaked that false story to Dan Patrick to have him then turn around and repeat it on air, and then gauge the response around the country? I think that’s very much possible. Dan Patrick may have been played.
Still, it does seem like the college football season is hanging by a thread–at least in the Big Ten. The Pac-12 is also rumored to in the same situation as the Big Ten, with the ACC and Big 12 “on the fence,” and the SEC fully committed to playing.
The big boys of college football were not about to go down without a fight, however. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, probably one of the top 3-4 most powerful and influential voices in the sport, took to Twitter to let the world know that this fight ain’t over:
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh wrote an open letter outlining his case on why the season should not be canceled:
Penn State head coach James Franklin–who has already made the decision to spend this season in isolation from his family due to his daughter being at elevated risk due to her sickle cell disease–chimed in as well:
Will any of this matter to the university presidents, though? These are the three biggest coaches in the Big Ten conference. But it’s ultimately not up to them.
Ohio State QB Justin Fields, a Heisman contender and one of the biggest names in the sport, is unequivocally on-board to play:
Same with Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, the Heisman frontrunner and the biggest superstar in the sport:
Lawrence makes some great points that the wealthy white liberal academics in charge of the universities probably fail to realize: college is a refuge for so many of these players. Many come from bad neighborhoods and poor families. These athletes are in a way better situation living on campus, rather than back home.
The most impressive thing about Lawrence and Fields championing the #WeWantToPlay movement is that these guys don’t even need to play this season. They are already guaranteed to be the top two draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. In fact, if their seasons were canceled, then these two could probably become millionaires tomorrow by signing deals with Nike.
Yet they want to play anyway. Speaks volumes about these kids’ characters.
On top of all this, President Trump weighed in as well in favor of playing football:
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful that the President is on the right side of this, but I hope it doesn’t backfire and compel these lib college presidents to virtue signal and publicly repudiate the Wicked Orange Man. They know they’ll be lionized and worshiped in the media for doing so.
So why the push to cancel the season now as opposed to months ago? Why get everyone’s hopes up only to crush them at the last second?
Well, here’s a theory:
If so, this is pure evil. Pure evil.
I certainly hope this is not the case. I hope the Big Ten figures it out and decides to man-up and play some football.
Even if you don’t care about football, you should still care about reason prevailing over fear and panic. 19-22 year old college athletes (outside of the ones with preexisting medical conditions) are at an extremely low risk to die of COVID. They’re more likely to die in car accidents then of COVID.
Maybe you could say it’s about protecting the coaches, who are obviously older than the players. But the coaches want to play. Even 68-year-old Mack Brown of UNC:
“North Carolina coach Mack Brown has been walking three miles a day, researching the best foods to add to his diet and trying out a variety of masks for comfort and safety to further insulate himself from COVID-19, a task of heightened importance after the Tar Heels placed voluntary workouts on hiatus following a spate of positive tests.
“As the leader of this program, it’s my responsibility to take care of myself,” Brown said. “Because they don’t need me getting sick.”
“I’ve read enough where if I wear my mask and I’m around people wearing their masks, and if I keep my social distancing and if I clean my hands, which I do about 30, 40 times a day, and if we keep the surfaces around us clean, then there’s very little chance that we’ll get the virus,” Brown said.
With his wife at a higher risk for complications from COVID-19, Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson will spend the season away from his family. So will Penn State coach James Franklin, whose daughter has sickle cell anemia.”
The players overwhelmingly want to play. The coaches–even the ones with the highest risks–want to play.
But the nerds are trying to spoil the fun.
Fear must not win here. Reason and rationality need to win.