As much as I love sports, I tend to separate those aspect of my interests from politics. I’m sure most RedState readers don’t want to hear about my sports betting picks or whether I think a new contract was a smart move. But sometimes we have a situation where sports and politics are inextricably linked. That’s what has happened with the coronavirus and college football, the second most popular sport in the country behind the NFL.
Just this afternoon, we saw the Big 10 officially cancel their season. Why? Good luck getting a reasonable answer to that. Fear is the name of the game and generalized concerns about the virus trump any and all common sense. Of course, that fear has been largely contrived by a left-wing sports media that simply does not want to see any university play ball this fall. The same nonsensical hysteria mongering that has been propagated on CNN exists on the airwaves of ESPN and websites like CBS Sports.
Instead of real risk assessment backed by data, you get ridiculously stupid stuff like this.
1. The flu isn’t reported consistently nationwide, per the CDC.
2. Car accidents aren’t contagious.
3. Murder isn’t contagious.
4. Alcohol overdoses aren’t contagious.
5. Drug overdoses aren’t contagious. https://t.co/5YeC5btIEu
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 10, 2020
Pro-tip for the esteemed sports journalist: Something being contagious does not dictate it as being a higher risk than something that isn’t contagious. The spread patterns and death rates among specific demographics are fairly well known at this point. Just because COVID is contagious does nto mean it is more dangerous to a 19 year old than driving a care. Statistically, it’s not. That’s is what matters. Note emotionally tinged idiocy that pretends all risk can be mitgated.
Regardless, the real issue here with all the arguments against playing college football are that they center around a delusion. That delusion is that college football players are going to go lock themselvs in their rooms for the next six months if there is no season. Have any of these sports writers been to college in the last, I don’t know, 50 years? You know what young, popular, in shape young men go do when they’ve got nothing else to bide their time like a rigirous football program with rules? They socialize. They go to parties. They go to bars. They end up playing sports informally. I could keep going, but you get the point. The idea that any college football player is at some lesser risk by not playing is not just backed by no evidence, it’s counter intuitive on every level.
And none of that even begins to take into account the other risk associated with not playing, which could leave a lot of college athletes feeling lost.
Canceling sports won’t stop a single COVID infection — will probably increase them as students are put into less controlled settings.
It will almost certainly increase suicides, drug overdoses, DUIs, and other dangerous and destructive behaviors.
Not a safety first decision.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) August 11, 2020
Here’s the reality. These kids are going to be on campus regardless. The absolute safest place for them to be is in a tightly regulated, heavily structured football program with constant medical supervision. They are likely far more at risk to contract the disease and not get it taken care of by being thrown out on their own.
Nebraska, which is part of the Big 10, basically said that today in their statement decrying the decision to cancel the season.
Nebraska just told everyone they are still going to try and find a way to play this fall. May need to buy a Cornhusker tshirt. Love it. pic.twitter.com/55qYxy7mqZ
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 11, 2020
This stuff is such common sense that it belabors belief that we are even having this discussion. Student athletes are no more protected now than if they were playing, and there’s absolutely a rational argument to be made they are far safer in their sports programs than on their own.
But like all things with the coronavirus, science and data play little roll in the hysterics of our general discourse and decision making. Politics are mixed into everything and college football is now no different. Meanwhile, these student athletes will bear the costs of the cowardice of their leadership, in this case the university presidents.
(Follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)