Today is the 295th day of “flattening the curve” (an imaginary task we were told would take 15 days), and it’s the 55th day of tucking grown-ass adults into bed by 10pm (authoritarian nonsense originally advertised to last 21 days).
Deb and I are doin’ fine.
If I were a fan of Alabama football right now, I’d be pissed. The team that steamrolled Ohio State in last night’s championship game might’ve been one of the best squads, overall, in school history, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
It cashed that big ol’ check, too, winning in convincing fashion. Nothing should diminish that competitive accomplishment. Unfortunately, ‘Bama hoisted The Big Trophy after The College Football Season That Wasn’t.
Oh, sure, games were played — cramped by State decrees, naturally, and hyper-cautious conferences — but the whole thing was a made-for-TV production, gutted of what makes college football different, special, great and worth a damn.
Music was reduced to math.
Century-old traditions were shelved. No tailgating. No cheerleaders, no mascots, no marching bands. No pre-game festivities and no halftime shows. Stadiums, those monuments to legacy, loyalty and home-field advantage, were all but empty.
Attempts to salve fans’ disappointment were surreal, bordering on the absurd — take this description of preparations in The ‘Shoe the week before the Buckeyes’ home opener:
“Instead of fans in stands, OSU is selling life-size cutouts of fans for between $25 and $75. The higher-priced cutouts will be located on the 50-yard line. Several thousand of those cutouts will populate Ohio Stadium and remain there all season. To mimic the game-day atmosphere, the Big Ten Conference has given each school crowd noise ‘murmur’ audio tracks for use during the games. The volume will be at 70 decibels throughout most of the game; it will be increased to a maximum of 90 decibels during celebration moments.”
American college football is a grand spectacle. The 2020 season was a parody.
Now the Tide have no reason to feel shame, mind you, nor should the Bucks take any particular consolation — a champion is a champion and a loss is still a loss. But on our way to the 2021 season, let’s all be careful not to trip over the asterisk.
I believe that’s all for today. Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay free. Go Bucks.
(Today’s header image is from our September escape to Delaware County.)