A JERSEY GUY: College Football America 2020?

Mark Blaudschun

We are in Phase 1 of the Sports Recovery Phase in this country.

So far, so good.

A couple of PGA tournaments, which from a long distance view looked, sounded like and felt like regular events.

The Belmont Stakes, the first major sporting event in the country since the Covid-19 lockdown began in March.

Again, from a long distance and production view, pretty good, pretty normal feeling, with a few little quirks--the lack of atmosphere when the horses came on to to the main track with Frank Sinatra's New York piped in through an empty grandstand and clubhouse area.

But certainly more than enough to provide a measure of comfort for sports fan who were in their third month of live sports withdrawal.

But that might be the end of "normalcy'' as we know it.

While there is plenty of chatter and movement in restarting baseball, basketball and football, many of the discussions include some bizarre twists.

Major League baseball, which continues to be a combination of tone deaf and clueless in its negotiations has actually come up with a proposal which would include to begin each extra inning game with a runner on second base.

That is a minor league and bar league rule meant to speed up games, which baseball needs, but not at this time.

It simply needs the game back.

The NBA, which has been a trend setter in reacting to all of this, is now having second thoughts about restarting its season in Orlando, Fla. which is now the epi-center of a second waive of positive cases for Covid.

The NFL still has a month to figure out its protocol for starting a season in September, but there will be so many ground rules and restrictions, plus the very real possibility (if not certainty) of starting in empty stadiums.

Which brings us to college football, which has gradually begun its return process, but is getting deluged with tests of positive cases, which has caused another series of adjustments beyond quarantine.

Some schools such as Clemson, which has reported 25 positive cases--all asymptomatic--has simply followed protocol and is going through the process.

Other schools such as Houston and Kansas State have shutdown operations before assessing their next move.

What seems very real--if college football is going to start in September--is that Game Days in the falls will look like the above picture of FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium.

No fans, limited people on the sidelines and two teams on the field playing a game that is viewed through cameras.

Announcers could be watching with the rest of us from enclosed studio booths, hundreds of miles away.

The obvious question is simple? Will the public accept this?

The answer is just as obvious. Yes.

It is just early summer, but one message is already coming through loud and clear. 

Fans can accept restrictions and reductions, they will live without some sports, including baseball.

But they want some form of football in September--under any circumstances.

That will change in a heartbeat, of course, if there is a Covid-sports star fatality. 

Or a wide spread case of positive cases with athletes in the hospital.

That would no doubt lead to another shutdown.

But let's stay optimistic and say we will have football, we will have COLLEGE football on Labor Day weekend.

What the public will see, will be a reprise of the famous Brent Musberger opening comment over a stadium picture.

You are looking live at ...fill in the name stadium..

Yes, you will but it will be a site and sight none of us has ever seen before.


Mark Blaudschun