With COVID-19 cases spiking across the country, there has been a massive shift in the likelihood that a college football season will be played this year. Everyone around the sport has become far more pessimistic in recent weeks that we'll get any football this fall. That's fine. It is what it is.
But I read this column from Pete Thamel of Yahoo this morning and it's the maddest I have been in some time — probably since February when I was assaulted by a homeless guy outside a bar who insisted I had a lighter I was keeping from him. For the life of me, I cannot understand why people like Thamel almost have a giddiness at the prospect of college football being called off.
In reading that entire piece, I can't help but detect a sense of elitism and joy in his tone that something which means so much to so many people — and the sport he covers for a living, by the way — is looking less likely by the day. Maybe it's rooted in some sort of political disdain for the South, maybe it's that he's in an established position and doesn't have to worry about any of the massive economic ramifications of a season not being played. I honestly don't know. But in reading this piece, I just can't help but imagine Thamel smirking as his need to be right at other people's expense is fulfilled.
And I have no problem with presenting facts as one has them. I have expressed pessimism myself that there will be college football this fall, despite my desperate desire to be wrong. But the new cool thing for guys like Thamel to do is talk down to people and tell them that you better be ready for sports to never happen again.
And Thamel is far from the first guy in the media to celebrate coronavirus spikes in the South jeopardizing college football. Here's what our good pal Darren Rovell had to say the other day.
That's a pretty sweeping generalization about a massive group of people, but I'm not even going to go into that other than to reiterate that Darren Rovell is one of history's greatest assholes because this is not about him.
My biggest problem with what Thamel wrote is how he ended it.
Yahoo Sports — “The thing that’s starting to settle in for us,” said a high ranking official at a Power Five school. “We’ve been talking about this as a one-year problem. I’m not sure it’s a one-year problem anymore. To me, it’s more likely we’re in this situation the same time next year than we play college football in the fall.”
While I know it is difficult to find anyone in college football who would express optimism in the season right now, Thamel has the ability to get a quote from just about anybody in college football. But he reached out to the people he knew would be the most pessimistic and was praying he's get a quote like this — and he did.
We're in July 2020 and we honestly have people talking about not playing football again until September 2022? What the hell are we even doing here?
I understand better than most that the prospects of college football are bleak at best right now. But I'm absolutely fed up with being talked down to from Yahoo's ivory tower.