Column by Dylan Frazier
With the announcement of the Big Ten making its return to play football starting Oct.24, it led to a flood of all other conferences making the same announcement. One of the staples of the fall, especially in the Midwest, is our college football. As a Midwest kid, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Ohio State football parties or just done nothing but watch college football from noon to 1 a.m. on any given Saturday. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I was very bummed when the Big Ten initially announced it was delaying its seasons.
I understand the issues with COVID-19, we all do at this point. But from the very beginning, the communication of the cancellations just seemed to not be there. I’m okay with something happening that I don’t like, so as long as there is an explanation. It just seemed off. But here we are about a month after the Big Ten said “see ya” to football and now everyone is back to playing.
My only fear is that there will be outbreaks among teams and we’ve already seen it with LSU earlier this month. Football is great, but safety is better. The bottom line is player safety should be the first priority. If the people in power think games can be safely played with the proper precautions, which obviously they do, then bring it on.
But we’ve already seen breakouts early into the season, which scares me a little bit. Houston was supposed to start its season on Sept.3 and it still hasn’t played a single snap. Norte Dame was supposed to play South Florida on Sept. 6, but seven players tested positive for COVID-19. Since then news reports show 39 Notre Dame players were sidelined by COVID-19. These kinds of stories we see make me a little pessimistic that college football can play a full schedule.
Do I want to be wrong? I absolutely do, for two reasons. Number one, I don’t want anyone to have to go through the coronavirus, I know people who have lost loves ones because of it. And number two, I want to watch college football without having to worry about star players being sick. I know that sounds selfish, but when the world has sucked as much as 2020 has, it’s just the little things that I want to enjoy.
At the same time, this may be too much to ask from 18 to 23-year-old college students. Sometimes it takes us everything we have to get to class on time, now the players are asked to follow all the protocols to adhere by to play football. I just don’t think all the players on each team will follow the guidelines as they should. I want to be wrong though.
With all that, if I can’t have our Oilers on the field, I’m ready to watch Justin Fields this year and hopefully see Ohio State win the national title again.