In February and early March, I started to become more and more nervous about the Coronavirus nearly every day. At first, it was because we had a family vacation planned, and as the pandemic hit Europe and the coasts, I realized that the plans I had spent months putting together were unraveling faster than Mike Riley’s game plans. And then BOOM, it was all over. Not only were we not going on vacation, we were quarantined at home like nearly everybody else.
And suddenly without any sports to watch. College basketball stopped. The NHL put their season on ice. College baseball shut down after just barely getting the season started. Major League Baseball hit the brakes too, as did golf. I was too busy trying to salvage as much of the money and plans I had for future use to notice immediately, but after a couple of weeks, I started to become awfully concerned about college football.
And I’m still concerned about football. The huge roster sizes and huge stadiums seem to be an ideal transmission opportunity for COVID-19 to infect many, many more people. And to be brutally honest, I am worried that society is opening up far too quickly. While many people are moving on with their lives, my family and I are still mostly going about things the same way we did in late March. We’re staying home for the most part, and limiting our exposure to others. (At some point, I’m going to need to get a haircut because my daughter keeps trying to braid my hair...)
So will there be football? The experts seem to think there will be. I don’t think we’ll have full stadiums; heck, I’d be shocked if we have more than 25% or maaaaaaaaaybe 50% attendance at games. But count me as one of those people who’d rather have football in empty stadiums than no football at all. Yes, finally the truth about revenue is coming out, and that schools like Nebraska still make far more money from fans attending than they do from television. I do hope that when this is all over, that sports programs start prioritizing fans over television, because I do believe that this fall, everyone is going to realize just how important the fans are.
And if there’s going to be football, I need to get our preseason previews started. It’s tougher than ever before, between talk of schedules possibly being revised and the fact that most schools had little, if any, spring practice. There’s going to be a lot more assuming and guestimating this season than ever before. I might get a few things right, but probably get a whole bunch of other things wrong. It’s tougher than ever to get a read on the teams Nebraska will play this season.
So here we go, taking my best attempt at previewing the 2020 season. Hopefully, I’m not jinxing it by getting started.