We had our chance to play college football. We had an opportunity to see if Michigan would finally beat Ohio State. Or see what Michigan State looked like without Mark Dantonio on the sidelines.
But we blew it.
Now the only alternative is to shut it down. We let Covid-19 get out of control in this country and it is something we must all take responsibility for. Too many of us could not wear a mask for a few months. Too many of us could not social distance for a bit to drive the numbers down.
Our rights were being violated. The government and the doctors and health care workers were trampling on our rights as Americans. Well guess what? Your right to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon watching college football will be gone too. And maybe your right to watch the World Series in the fall will also disappear.
Instead of fighting this disease too many of us latched on to any wacky conspiracy theory from any whack wearing a Wal-Mart lab coat. And we ignored people who were trained specifically for this moment. Can’t have my rights violated.
Instead this is what I saw. Hundreds of people gathered at a Detroit gas station without mask, some screaming “I ain’t got no Covid.” I saw hundreds gather on land bars at Torch Lake and Lake St. Clair. I saw protests and riots in the streets across the country.
The hash tag #WeWanttoPlay is being pushed across social media by football players from Power Five Conferences. Players always want to play. Sometimes you need the adults in the room to save players from themselves.
Football players are the most abused athletes in sports. They play in the fall so that field hockey, swimming and diving can compete. The play so coaches can make millions of dollars. Now is the time to protect these players.
Yes, this is a huge economic blow. Michigan football generates more than $120 million in revenue. There will be cut back for every school in the nation.
It was a telling statement when Michigan State president Samuel Stanley recommended that students stay off campus in the fall unless they have no choice. He knows that dorms will become petri dishes for students and athletes alike.
Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh says he wants to play and says the Wolverines have figured out a way to stay safe. He touts the low positive tests within the program. But there are few students on campus. The bars are not packed. The dorms are not packed.
Will he be able to say the same in September and October?
Michigan State and Indiana State already suspended football workouts for 14 days because of the virus. Players have tested positive at the University of Texas, Auburn and Kansas State.
More are to come if you allow players to play, live in a dorm with students and socialize with the general student population.
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