The drumbeat of football’s return in the fall has taken on political overtones in recent days.
The governors of Alabama and Nebraska have asked citizens of their states to practice social distancing to help college football return.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Alabama political reporter said, threw football like a decoy after issuing a home stay order on Friday. If you are looking forward to a fall football season, what you were doing today gives us a better chance of being able to do it too, said Ivey.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts resisted the use of a statewide home stay order, relying instead on a directed health measure and encouraging people to stay at home. If you want to see soccer this fall, you better stay home now, said Ricketts, according to News Channel Nebraska.
coronavirus and to help bring back college football this fall? The answer is complicated. “Data-reactid =” 20 “> This has raised a fascinating question: can the potential of college football become an incentive to stem the spread of coronavirus and to help bring back college football this fall? The answer is complicated.
This question for college football arises one day when President Donald Trump entered the national sports conversation. President Trump has had calls with commissioners from a majority of professional sports leagues in America. These ranged from traditional stewards like Roger Goodell of the NFL and Adam Silver of the NBA to Dana White of the UFC and Vince McMahon of the WWE.
There were no concrete solutions, but rather hopes which did not seem to be based on any specific science. “They want to come back,” said Trump of the sports leagues. They have to come back. We want to come back soon. Very soon. “
While Trumps’ appeal sparked the collision between sport and politics, there was a curious omission. Of all the commissioners with whom he spoke, including the WNBA and the PGA, there were no leaders in the college sports community. (An NCAA spokesperson said he would have no comments.)
While the NCAA is still clinging to its amateur sport status, college football is one of the most popular sports in the country and college basketball attracts national attention for a month during March Madness. Trump’s conference call came on the day the Final Four was slated to have a double header in the semifinals on Saturday night.
Trumps’ lack of college football was very curious, as he had recently staked clear territory in the sport. Three times in the final months of the season, Trump appeared in college football games and was warmly welcomed by fans entrenched in his base. These vertiginous receptions took place in three of the most publicized games of the season, the LSU in Alabama, Army vs Navy and the College Football Playoff championship game in New Orleans. (They also came in the wake of Trump who was whistled whistle during the World Series in Washington D.C.)
Calls from governors this week in Alabama and Nebraska and Trumps are calling for clues on Saturday that we may see sport become more politicized as the pandemic continues.
College football is one of the great unifiers of the country, as it squeezes between big cities and comfortable college towns, looms as extremely popular in the red and blue states, and along the way, touches almost all sections of the American race, economy class and religion. But in terms of coronavirus, college football is also the most complicated.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine 90,000 people at Memorial Stadium at the University of Nebraska and 101,000 people at Bryant-Denny Stadium for the opening weekend. College football rites of passage all involve things that are antithetical to suppressing the coronavirus such as a contact sport, heavy travel for large swaths of people, fans in tight quarters at the back doors and trapped in the stadium. It will also likely require schools to be in session on campus, which seems worrisome, as many campuses across the country are switching to online learning for their summer schools.
The hopes of the governors of college football mad states come up against the reality that college football can be the most logistically difficult sport to operate. The academic presence and the campus setting, combined with the regimented calendar which generally coincides with an academic calendar, make it a complicated elevator.
In an article on NFL.com last week, NFL chief physician Allen Sills pointed out how more extensive testing would be needed across the country to allow NFL teams to enter their facilities.
“As long as we are still in a place where when only one person tests positive for the virus you must quarantine each person who was in contact with them in any form, form or mode, then I don’t think you can start to think about reopening a team sport, “Sills told Judy Battista. “Because we are going to have positive cases for a very long time.”
defended the state from using a shelter on site. We are not Louisiana, we are not New York State, we are not California, she said. Now is not the time to order people to take shelter there. “Data-reactid =” 76 “> The governors’ messages to distance themselves from football come at a time when there is a lot of conflicting information. Almost a week before Iveys asks the people of Alabama to stay at home so that there is soccer in the fall, defended the state from using a shelter on site. We are not Louisiana, we are not New York State, we are not California, she said. Now is not the time to order people to take shelter there.
The contradictions continued today, as ESPN reported that Trump thought the NFL should start on time in September. A few hours later, California Governor Gavin Newsom said he had no plans to open soccer stadiums in California in August and September.
This is clear with the college football season approaching five months: overcoming the complications for the sport operating with full stadiums and traditional time frames will take more than politicians want.
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