We have hit a dark hour as it pertains to having a college football season for our beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet — but I’m fully aware of my face being smashed in by the real world and the coronavirus. To our credit here at OFD, we have tried to soldier on without too many mentions of the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide all of you with as much information and entertainment as possible concerning Fighting Irish athletics.
And then Wednesday, July 8th 2020 happened.
It started out fun enough. Jim Harbaugh — the same Jim Harbaugh that has never come in 1st or 2nd in the Big 10 East with the Michigan Wolverines — opened his mouth up during a conference call.
There were quite a few jokes made on social media about just how obtuse this statement is, but it also represents a fair number of fans’ opinions in agreeance. I mean… are there no scientists in Ann Arbor?
Then a jab came out of nowhere. The Stanford Cardinal announced that they were cutting 11 varsity sports due to the financial drain brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe this doesn’t mean much to you, but Stanford has the most successful intercollegiate athletic program in the country. It’s a big deal.
BREAKING: Stanford, home to the most successful intercollegiate athletic program in the country, has eliminated varsity 11 teams because of coronavirus-related financial constraints. https://t.co/YHluprKkJT
— Mercury News (@mercnews) July 8, 2020
So maybe that didn’t move the dial for you because after all… it’s Stanford and everyone is having money issues because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has made since March. Okay, then — from one nerdy school to eight nerdy schools we go.
Sources: Ivy League programs have been informed that fall sports have been cancelled.
The conference will not entertain any sports being played until after January 1st.
Winter sports will have an update in mid-July on their respective practice schedules.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 8, 2020
That’s right folks. The Ivy League cancelled fall sports. This is the same league that was first to stop its winter and spring sports (while people scoffed) and then the dominoes fell all over the country. It would be unwise to think that the FBS schools aren’t considering the same type of measures.
For months people have been talking about this possibility and, perhaps, a college football season in the winter and/or spring. There are all sorts of problems that would need to be worked out, but it solves the problem at hand — which is the “right now” problem. It’s getting wild again out there in America, and in a couple of months it may be even worse.
Here’s some more cold water from two program that I think we can reasonably say have a reputation of winning at any cost:
The Ohio State Buckeyes and North Carolina Tar Heels are hitting the pause button now as well. They can’t go on EVEN WITH THE RESTRICTIONS THEY NOW HAVE IN PLACE. Think about that for a moment, and try to imagine what might happen once school is in session and once competition actually begins.
It seems almost impossible right now.
Can schedules be altered and some resemblance of a season still be played? Maybe, but it’s probably more likely that the situation gets worse and then a halt to the season will eventually come to pass.
If you’re thinking right now… Well, Notre Dame has zero cases and surely they can play some type of 10 game season if they really want to… give it a couple of weeks. If I was a betting man, I would put money down right now that Notre Dame starts to see more positive cases in the near future. We still haven’t seen the results from the 4th of July weekend — and boys will be boys.
That’s a lot of bad news to swallow,and we still haven’t been given the bad news yet. I’m not a scientist, an economist, or a school administrator — but I do think we should all start preparing for there to be no college football this fall. That means the golden helmets won’t shine in the October sun, and now I need a crazy amount of booze.