#WeWantToPlay – The Fight For A Season

On Sunday it seemed that collegiate fall sports, including college football, were almost on the brink of being cancelled after a bunch of suits and university Presidents who serve on the B1G conference committee supposedly had been meeting all weekend trying to figure out a way to squirm out of the season. This comes at the heels of the MAC cancelling fall action and postponing to the spring. Obviously, football is the headline here and although the idea of spring football is cool, the practicality of it doesn’t make as much sense as many may think. With signs now showing a big domino to fall in the Big 10, other Power 5 conferences would probably follow suit thus putting the CFB season in serious jeopardy.

Yes, we need to take precautions in order to ensure that there isn’t another “outbreak” as daily cases continue to decline. With that being said, the data clearly suggests that kids between the ages of 18-23 are not high risks to this virus. Plus, having an advanced testing strategy would clearly help in controlling the virus. It makes no sense for schools to plan on having students return to campus, living in dorms, and then proceed to cancel athletics or even send the students home. Personally, I’ve been arguing for schools and sports to reopen with this data in mind for quite some time. Instead there has been shrewd decisions made out by higher ups with zero transparency. And now as they continue to take away our in person classes, they are looking to take away athletics, too.

This is pretty on par with what we’ve been seeing in schools of the like during this pandemic. Do nothing except complain and then when the time comes realize they had been sitting around for the past 6 months seemingly waiting for someone else to solve their problem. No proactivity at all in figuring out a solid way to track and manage students’ health. It really is mind boggling. This leads to them going back to a tactic that isn’t even fully proven to work in controlling it. It’s a cop out that the administrators are looking for so they don’t have to deal with positive tests. It also will have many more adverse affects that will do more harm than good. They don’t seem interested in even answering to these concerns.

As this news continued to leak out during the weekend, it was only a matter of time before the players spoke up about this clear brigade. Trevor Lawrence, projected #1 overall pick and QB for Clemson, started the #WeWantToPlay movement with a thread that presented logic, unity, and reason. It was a monumental move for both his legacy as a leader and also players’ voices being heard by the NCAA and university Presidents. This led to a bunch of other prominent college athletes, like Ohio State QB Justin Fields, to also tweet in support of the #WeWantToPlay movement.

That’s because as I said before, there has been zero collaboration, communication, or transparency by the “suits” making these decisions. These decisions that are largely on behalf of the student-athletes, by the way. No one knows where they are pulling their data or “science” from and it seems that everything made available to the public points in the direction of getting back to playing. Of course like everything in 2020, it’s becoming a political issue and people are using the virus as a way to leverage their position in the world.

Yes, there are other factors in play, but it seems like the coaches want to play as well. Also, side note and something I haven’t heard yet – if the season gets cancelled do the coaches still get paid their insanely high, tax payer salaries?

It’s sad that we are at this point and the resistance to cancelling the season doesn’t have as much traction as it should. #WeWantToPlay is trending but there needs to be some actual voices of influence in the media to sway the majority of public opinion who are fogged by the media’s fear mongering.

I think some of the biggest voices in sports media, like ESPN, Fox Sports, and Barstool Sports, should be elevating these voices throughout the week and covering how these coaches, players, and AD’s want to play. They can maybe do some real news for once and have both sides of an issue on a panel.

Sports media should be having Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Jim Harbaugh, and others on their networks this week to spread the word. Give them a chance to clearly lay out their arguments. Clearly, with social media they will get their points out anyways. Might as well get the views. They can put an end to this partisan lunacy and get back on the field. Sports are supposed to bring people together. Again, here is an opportunity to do something good for the entirety of the country and the media can use their reach for good.

This is especially true when there is no argument of the contrary other than generic talking points about the virus. I understand the pandemic needs to be taken care of. But, we also can’t sacrifice every other facet of our society. I understand that these players aren’t getting paid and there is liability concerns. But, it seems that most also want to play and are willing to do what it takes to have a season.

We can for sure find common ground.

But, I believe I’ve said this before. The idea that there could potentially be some future negative affect from the virus, especially for asymptomatic cases, is one of the real dumber arguments I can think of. We don’t know the long term affects of so many things that we do on a daily basis, including looking at LED screens for 8 hours a day. There are risks associated with life and we have to mitigate and manage those risks on a daily basis. Pro-lockdown people don’t like that fact.

Besides current, all-encompassing numbers, I haven’t heard a undisputed reason to cancel CFB. As Joel Klatt argues, we know how this demographic is impacted by the virus. All of the current data suggests that the kids can play. The arguments people provide, like people’s mental health, can’t be disputed when these cancel advocates are yelling into their echo chambers.

It’s really crazy that it’s gotten to this point. It won’t be easy but the Big10 shouldn’t be cowering like this and hiding behind the media in their decision. We want transparency.

If they cancel sports this fall, we need to know who, why, and how they came to that decision and if they are acting within reason and best interest for the relevant stakeholders. Transparency should be demanded.

Ultimately, I do think there is going to be a college football season. I’m still hopeful. It may not be the full slate that we are accustomed to but I doubt the NCAA will just let the NFL slide into their Saturday prime time slots and dominate the market. It will be interesting to follow the next few weeks but I hope that we continue to elevate the voices that are speaking with the most reason during these ridiculous times.


@jacklesser3 ||| @thoughtless44

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