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The Extra Point

A fall with no sports

Chris Siers
Posted 7/10/20

I’ve always been a “hope for the best, plan for the worst,” kind of guy. I like to have all my bases covered so nothing ever surprises me. When news broke on Thursday the Ivy League would be suspending all fall sports, it came as little surprise to me...

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The Extra Point

A fall with no sports

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I’ve always been a “hope for the best, plan for the worst,” kind of guy.

I like to have all my bases covered so nothing ever surprises me.

When news broke on Thursday the Ivy League would be suspending all fall sports, it came as little surprise to me.

With the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, one sports league made the first move that everyone has been dreading—no fall sports.

No fall sports means no football, no soccer, no early basketball.

We’ve been in the thick of this pandemic for four months now and pressing into the fifth.

It’s clear as day, this thing is here to stay for the long haul, which has created a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach.

We very well could see a fall with no football at any level.

No Friday night lights.

No marching bands blasting our team’s fight songs on Saturdays.

No end zone dances on Sundays.

This is a hard pill to swallow as someone whose livelihood and life revolves around sports.

Now I’m no medical expert, nor do I have the gift of precognition.

But I can’t shake this feeling the Ivy League’s move is the first domino to fall.

Soon after the announcement came down, the BigTen Conference announced the football members would play an all-conference schedule.

The ACC followed suit and at the time of this publication, are the only Power 5 conferences to have done so.

Still, it’s within 60 days of the season’s kickoff and games are being canceled left and right.

As cases continue to mount and society unsure if it’s time to return to life as normal given the fatality rates, or if it’s time to go on a harsh lock down with harsh penalties imposed for those who break the law, it’s clear this fall will be sailing into uncharted waters.

There’s a money aspect of it that has to work as well.

These college programs don’t function on hopes and dreams.

With no revenue, there are no programs.

If we continue down the road we’re headed, it could be very likely you see big name programs scrapping Div. I athletic teams—and yes that includes football.

It seems so far fetched of a notion that it almost deserves ridicule and to be discarded.

But so did the idea of shutting down professional leagues earlier this year.

Speaking of earlier this year, when the pandemic first gained traction, it was the Ivy League who led the way in canceling spring sports.

The rest of the college sports world then followed suit.

This leads me to think there won’t be a college football season played.

If there is a season played, there’s a very slim chance the entire season gets played.

A recent poll of Division I athletic directors revealed 75 percent have waning confidence there will even be a season.

It seems like everything associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is convoluted, whether it be the transmission rate, the death rates, or the science behind the virus.

What is NOT foggy in the slightest is people need something to rally around.

Sports have always been that escape from reality for so many and has always been an outlet to give people hope.

Without that aspect in society, well, it’s just a dark time for sports lovers.

I hope I’m wrong and society is able to turn a corner sooner, rather than later.

But I’m planning for the worst—no sports at all.

•Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette. Email him at sports@t-g.com.

Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette.

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