The Covid-19 pandemic claimed another casualty of fun when it was announced today that Nebraska football’s 2021 season opener against Illinois will be played in Champaign instead of in Dublin, Ireland as originally planned.
Just in case you’re wondering, Champaign is in Illinois, which is not anywhere near Europe. I suppose it could be considered near Europe if you were in Antartica or Peru, or maybe even Mars, but if you’re in Nebraska, or even Maryland, it is not close to Europe.
I’m sure Champaign is a wonderful city. I have never been there. I have been stuck inside during this freezing hell of winter sent to us by the Canadians and have barely been outside my house the past couple of weeks. Match that along with working remotely throughout this pandemic, and I’m fairly certain that a trip to Champaign, Illinois to see Husker football would feel like I was going to another continent, perhaps even another planet.
I’m sure those who are more traveled than I are very disappointed, especially those who were going to travel with the football team. I’m sure they are thinking... “Is there a real Guinness brewery in Illinois? No. Are there lassies and laddies? No. Will there be a bucket of gold at the end of a rainbow carried by a leprechaun to who gives me with a shillelah that grants magical wishes to those I love most? No. Son of a bitch.”
I hope we kick the living shit out of Illinois as some sort of payment.
Below is the full athletic department release:
2021 Husker Season Opener to Move from Ireland to Illinois
Following extensive consultation with the Irish government, medical authorities and the administrative staffs at Nebraska and Illinois, the 2021 season-opening football game scheduled for Aug. 28 between the two schools will not be played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Huskers and Fighting Illini still plan to open the 2021 season on Aug. 28, but now the game will be played in Champaign at Illinois’ Memorial Stadium.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to travel to Ireland to open the 2021 football season in Dublin,” Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said. “The trip would have been a memorable experience for the young men in our football program, so I feel badly they won’t have this opportunity.
“There was also a high level of excitement and interest in the game among our great fan base, and I know many of them were looking forward to making the trip to cheer on the Huskers. Anthony Travel and Irish American Events have been a great partner throughout this process, and we will continue to explore the possibility of taking Nebraska Football to Dublin in the future.”
“It is desperately disappointing that it is necessary to cancel the 2021 Aer Lingus College Football Classic but public health must take precedent,” said Neil Naughton, Chairman of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. “These games offer huge publicity potential, practical economic benefits, and a genuine expression of the close ties between Ireland and the United States. We have made great friends with both the University of Illinois and the University of Nebraska and I look forward to welcoming them back to Ireland in the not too distant future and giving their travelling fans the welcome Ireland is so famous for.”
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