Kidding Ourselves?

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

The dominoes are slowly falling on playing college football this fall.  In March, if you recall, once college basketball was canceled and March Madness would not be held, the entire sports world – professional, college, and high school – all called it quits for the rest of the professional and academic year.  It was rightfully determined that it was just not safe to play.

Have things really changed since then?  Sure there were signs that we just might be starting to win the battle as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania were beginning to emerge from the horrible numbers they were experiencing in the first few months.  We all believed everything could get better.

But have things really gotten better?  In states like Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, and Georgia we have seen examples of what can happen when we try so very hard to get back to a semblance of normalcy.  It does not work.  And what about the warnings that a second wave is imminent?  The current circumstances are still part of Wave One!

Playing sports, particularly football, this fall just does not seem to be right.  Everyone agrees that a reduced schedule, a late start, and a plethora of restrictions need to be in place in order to have a chance for competition to occur.

But, this is football.  This is 22 players on the field with or without masks, without social distancing, barking out signals, sweating profusely, and creating contact on every play.

In other words, this is everything we are currently being told NOT to do!

Already, there have been setbacks.  The Ivy League will play football in the spring.  The Big Ten will drop all of their independent games and may very well move their schedule to the spring.  The Centennial Conference, which includes local colleges, Moravian and Muhlenberg, has already determined it will not play football or any other sport in the fall.  I am sure that those conferences that are holding out hope that there will be a season realize deep down that is probably not going to happen.

So what will high school sports do?  The PIAA is rather adamant that they want to play.  I am just as adamant that I want them to play.  But at the risk of what – the health and well-being of the young people they oversee.  High school administrators do not have the luxury of postponing the fall season to the spring.  Many, many high school athletes play a variety of sports in a given year, not just football.  If there are no games this fall, there will be no games this year.  High schools followed colleges when it came to canceling their spring sports.  I suspect they will follow colleges again this fall.

No one wants to see the return of athletic competition more than I do.  Not only is it responsible for my vocation; it is also because of the love I have for sports.  I hate the fact that a senior would not get the opportunity to play a final season.  I hate the fact that parents would not revel in the trials and successes of their children.  I also hate the fact that the victims of this awful virus had nothing to do with the cause.

Sports did not cause the virus, but we do know what spreads the virus.  Sadly, athletic competition could easily do that.  If we do not believe that, then we are kidding ourselves.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. The Washington Redskins are in the midst of a marketing nightmare. Anytime a company wants to change their logo or nickname, it usually takes a couple of years to get that accomplished.  New graphics, new clothing, new signage, etc. are all part of creating a new identity.  Time is one thing, I suspect, the Washington franchise does not have.  To keep their sponsors, they are almost forced to get rid of their nickname ASAP.  That is not an easy task.
  1. No team was more distraught this past week than the Philadelphia Eagles. DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic remarks created a “shot heard ‘round the world”.  His words were appalling and the response was immediate.  I did find it somewhat comforting that some were willing to educate Jackson about his comments.  If, indeed, they were said out of ignorance, then educating him is essential.  He was punished by the team.  Will the public forgive him?
  1. The Patriot League this week announced that there will be no fall sports. As you know, Lafayette and Lehigh have the distinction of being college football’s most-played rivalry. This year would be the 156th time they would meet. Will it happen at all?
  1. Due to quarantine regulations in Canada, Toronto Blue Jays players must not leave their hotel during their home games for the rest of the summer. If they do, they would face substantial fines and up to six months in jail.  I expect many players will balk at this.
  1. The Phillies will officially open their season on July 24 against the Marlins. Next up will be the Yankees at home for two games and then on to play at Yankee Stadium on July 29.  The first pitch cannot come soon enough!

 

 

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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