Thamel: Time to face reality: 'No one is playing college football in the fall'

Yahoo Article

The rampant pessimism about the possibility of playing college football in the fall of 2020 has spiraled to fatalism.

Take a deep breath, and begin to get comfortable with the idea there's virtually no chance of playing college football in any recognizable form this fall. Start digesting the notion that the next time we see a college football game could be in more than 13 months, as the sport remains the most unlikely of all the major sports to execute a successful return. Consider any semblance of college football prior to Week Zero of 2021 as a bonus, an improbable gift from the football gods.

...

"Right now, I don't see a path in the current environment to how we play," said a Power Five athletic director. "I'm confident we'll get back to what we all think of as normal, but it may be a year before that happens."

...

"Ultimately, no one is playing football in the fall," said a high-ranking college official. "It's just a matter of how it unfolds. As soon one of the 'autonomy five' or Power Five conferences makes a decision, that's going to end it."

...

The most interesting development in calls this weekend was the rampant uptick of pessimism in NFL circles about the season, as there are increasing obstacles for that league to play football this fall.

One high-ranking NFL team official pointed out that players with guaranteed money would be owed their entire salaries if one regular-season game is played: "The NFL is hell-bent on playing, but I just don't know how it works functionality-wise, based on health risks and financial structure. It's hard to see how it's all going to happen."

...

The best way to look at the Pac-12 and Big Ten's decisions aren't through their "health and safety" talking points. They're best viewed as inevitable chronological steps that will unfold.

  • Status quo (The SEC, Big 12 and ACC are here.)
  • Conference play with the ability to delay (The Big Ten and Pac-12, which will soon have company.)
  • The Spring (This is gaining conversation, but detractors remain.)
  • Cancel (More people are talking about this than fans want to know.)

...

The Pac-12 and Big Ten going to conference-only models is going to likely be remembered in the upcoming months like the day in March when the NCAA announced there'd be no fans at the NCAA tournament. It was a big story for a day, then forgotten as subsequent news cycles tornadoed on.

College coaches are stuck somewhere between bewildered and exasperated. They have to motivate a staff and juggle unprecedented logistics to get their players to campus safely and remain COVID-19 free. Yet they do it knowing that they are preparing for a season that isn't happening.

"I hope I'm wrong, but I think the season being canceled is a foregone conclusion," a Power Five coach told Yahoo Sports on Sunday.

...

"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."

[Mod Edit: Remove image to eliminate confusion.]

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Comments

Based on that picture, the only thing we need to do to get college football is to go back in time to get all the Infinity Stones before Thanos does so we can undo The Snap

quick quick someone invent the future so we can save the present

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I hate to admit it, but I'm ready for them to call it. We have a looooong way to go before I would be comfortable going this season. So, I'm ready to call it a loss, collect my refund, use it to make this year's donation, and long for spring ball or the 2021 season, whatever they decide.

On this topic, I talked to the ticket office the other day and have some deets that may save some of you a phone call. In the event this season doesn't happen:

-Ticket Sales will be refunded
-Hokie Club donations are non-refundable (who would ask for it back anyway)
-But if you gave more during seat pick to get the seats you wanted, that IS refundable
-They won't do another seat pick for next year. The seats you recently picked are safe until the next reseating.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Thanks for saving me a call. Sounds like if things get canceled, they are handling as fairly as I'd hope for.

My thoughts as well. Don't mention it.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

"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."

In private conversations, I had doubts about this college football season back in March when hoops was canceled. There was a brief period when the outlook was quite optimistic. But right now, yeah, I'm concerned about the 2021 season.

I think 2021 is when we get a conference/regional schedule. Limiting plane travel and travel overall both for spread reduction but also budget. Iowa States AD recently said they are looking at around a 125 million dollar loss if no football season when adding in current loses to losses from no seasons. I don't see how many teams come out of that in one year.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I mean without any kind of vaccine or without this virus being completely eradicated, I'm not sure how contact sports are going to resume at all, especially in leagues where athletes are not being financially compensated.

Racing I understand, because the athletes themselves are pretty much isolated in their own car throughout. Soccer I get as well, because the majority of the event is spent with enough spacing that it should be fine. Even fighting I get because you are dealing with a very defined set of people who are at most pairing off against one other person making quarantine easier to accomplish.

Contact sports like football, basketball, and hockey where every play necessitates close physical contact with 10-50 people per team impacted? I just don't see how you can realistically make that work and still say you're keeping everyone safe.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

The virus just does not have any respect for artificial deadlines like Easter, July 4, start of football season, or January 1 2021. I also wonder how contact sports can resume. Premier league has shown that a bubble scenario can work (which means it SHOULD work for MLS too if they could get the teams in and lock them down) for outdoor sports with distancing like baseball and soccer.

Well, except for Dallas and Nashville...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

This quote stood out to me as well. If immunity only last 6 months (which is a real possibility), and a vaccine takes 18months to create (which I think is extremely optimistic given that the fastest vaccine created to date took 4 years, but I digress) then we could be looking at (at best) a shortened season in 2021.

Twitter me

This is my outlook right now as well. I think 2021 has the potential to look like a conference only schedule. I think 2020 is cooked.

I'm curious to see how the NBA and NHL do in their "bubbles", but MLS has had issues and MLB can't get out of their own way.

The bizarre thing is MLB and MLS should be the sports most likely to pull off a bubble a la the EPL. Sports which are outdoors with good separation between players. Chartering flights from the Dominican Republic with gobs of sick people was not a good start, though. NHL seems to be starting their testing early (lots of St Louis and Montreal guys testing positive) and hopefully they can get people healthy, get them inside the bubble, and start playing. I have no idea about the NBA but I can say that the dozen+ guys who regularly play basketball at the park by my house apparently have zero COVID concerns.

2020 CFB is probably screwed. But it is going to take another month or so to kill the fall. There is soooo much money on the line that I don't the ADs do anything rash. They will extend the CFB death watch for as long as possible. [Look at JC Penney and Sears: anyone with eyeballs could see that they were/are toast but they dragged it out seemingly forever before going BK]

That cinches it. We absolutely need EA NCAA Football 2021 to help us cope. It's only fair.

HTHokie93

I wonder if COVID could actually help with that? With no football season EA wouldn't need to pay anyone for their likeness. Just rando the rosters because there's literally no teams that will be playing.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

EA would probably need a couple years to build out the game. And who knows how many developers they have actively coding right now due to the quarantines and lockdowns.

That being said, they'd be foolish to never bring it back. Its a cash cow waiting to be milked for all its worth, especially once they introduce their Ultimate Team BS using alumni to build out teams.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

They should go all out with this and create two versions, one for us and one for the teams. Then have the coaches call the plays and every player control his guy. Put on it on the telly for all of us every day the games were supposed to be played. It's better than nothing.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Been saying for a while that they shouldn't have football this fall. The risk far outweigh the rewards.

Please realize that we have not dealt with a serious pandemic in over a hundred year.

β€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.” ~ lewiswb

We haven't dealt with THIS pandemic in any serious way at a national level yet, either. Unlike other countries like South Korea, Japan and Germany--all of whom WILL get sports (and school) this year because they got their situation under control--our strategy has been to downplay, deny or even call it a hoax. And now, we've literally given up at the national level. Bold strategy Cotton, let's see if it pays off I guess...

I do whole genome sequencing at work, and I haven't done almost anything but sequence coronavirus samples at double our normal capacity since mid-March. The problem is, that should have started at least 2 months earlier, just like efforts to get ample PPE and a vaccine should have started much earlier. So we got behind, started losing, and then simply gave up. So no, we're not getting football this year. We were never getting football this year. And if we keep up our lack of effort to get cases down, 2021 isn't looking too good either.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

Uh...flu epidemic of 1918 ring a bell?

β€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.” ~ lewiswb

Not sure if stevetheking edited it, but they said "THIS" pandemic, as in CV19.

The U.S. was the least likely of any one nation to have a one-size-fits-all strategy that everyone would follow. A regional strategy is best, but a bit unwieldy. We're just not set up that way.

Multiply that by politics, and you get our strategy, with most decision makers looking at polling numbers, and nobody in power much interested in sticking their necks out.

Even when you look past the smoke-and-mirror politics, what are the odds of a vaccine that eliminates the coronavirus quickly? I mean, it sounds good and all, but the vulnerable are likely to be that way for a while. When countries open up to normal functioning, their numbers are going to go up. So it's going to remain a balancing act for everyone, not just the U.S.

Europe looks good for now, but but they haven't conquered the coronavirus, either. We're in early innings of what is likely to be a long game.

But if we make it too the 10th we get an automatic runner on 2nd so we can sac bunt him home for the W

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

And the god damned DH in BOTH leagues! Grrrrrr!

End times for sure.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

I am so desperate for sports right now I would watch the LLWS if it was on

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

I'd watch it regardless. Something I always look forward to.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Agreed. LLWS is great competition and enjoyable to watch. Those kids are living a dream at a young age and watching them go through it and grow is awesome.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Our politics were and still are an Achilles heal for sure, but we had WAY more advantages than disadvantages: the best health care capabilities in the world, massive manufacturing ability, unmatched financial resources and two big oceans on either side of us.

But we were asleep at the wheel, and so none of our (very substantial) strengths were properly utilized. A vaccine is necessary for sure, but even that may or may not be effective enough to beat back the virus. The trick is never getting to the almost out-of-control situation that the US is currently in. South Korea (52 million population) had 1062 new cases on March 1, but haven't had more than 100 since March 31. Germany (83 million) had 6294 new cases March 28 but haven't had more than 1000 since May 9th. Those countries have the virus essentially under control with adequate testing and contact tracing. By comparison, the US (328 million) had 872 new cases on March 16, but 60,719 new cases yesterday.

I agree with you that we're in the early innings of a long game. But we're basically down 25-0 in the second inning, with no outs and the bases loaded and no one warming up for us in the bullpen. And the virus doesn't recognize the mercy rule. Europe has opened up to travelers, but not from America. I imagine other countries will implement the same policy, and I don't see that changing this year. Never in my 47 years did I think that America would be the laughing stock of the world. Or I should say we would be laughing stocks, except other countries are too busy pitying us to laugh.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

We had Scherzer, Strasberg, Cole, and Verlander on the roster and instead we signed 57 year old Jamie Moyer off the street to start game 1.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I'm sorry, but I get a little sick of folks comparing the U.S. to South Korea and Germany. Yes, yes, in hindsight what they did was pretty effective. But the U.S. isn't really set up like they are, and we don't want to be. We're essentially more a group of states when it comes to a pandemic, and this did expose some of the weaknesses of such a structure.

South Korea developed their initial response during other pandemics that kicked their asses. Lucky them. And their response depended partially on their government's free ability to track their own citizens. OK. Germany's response was good, but they have a lot of people who are very compliant with government regulations. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes it isn't. So yes, it turns out they had some pre-existing advantages for this particular event. Their governments were very effective, I'll grant you that.

Though I quite like Germany's health care system, I don't want to give up the overall freedoms I have in the U.S. to live either of those places in the long run. (Disclosure, I lived in Germany for three years.)

As far as medical care, is ours better than that of Germany or South Korea? We certainly lapped them both in terms of arrogance. While other countries went with the COVID-19 sequences they were sent to develop tests, the FDA spent a couple of weeks developing their own. And then they proceeded to send out tainted tests. You can certainly blame that on the current administration, but let's be real. Those are the same policies and career employees that we'd have had with any administration. This was the big game and they blew it.

We certainly weren't ready for a Pandemic like this. It was unprecedented. And like most countries, we're prepared for the last threat, not the next one. Most of our strategic supplies were geared towards a biological attack, not an overwhelmingly fast virus. So we were caught with our pants down. Nobody for decades wanted to fund a PPE stock for the country, or bother to rotate those supplies. You gotta believe that's going to change now.

When we shut our country down for a month, it was so our hospitals wouldn't get overrun, not to make our case numbers look better relative to other countries in the media. And while I'd like to have dwindling numbers where testing and contact tracing make sense, in places where the virus is surging, and we don't have the resources to do it fully, contact tracing isn't going to fix the problem.

Yes, I want people to take the coronavirus seriously. Yes, I want folks wearing masks. No, I don't want the government shutting people's livelihoods or telling them what they can and can't do.

We're living in challenging times right now. We have some extraordinary challenges, and our political system is getting tested, with both parties fighting for the inches they need all around us. And neither is compromising one inch anywhere, even if the citizens would benefit from some level of cooperation, cordiality, and compromise. This isn't a new development. It's been this way for decades and has only continued to get worse.

While there are some lessons to be learned here, I don't want us to learn the wrong ones. I'm not interested in living in a country where the government tracks me and my contacts on my cell phone or tells me I can't go outside. I want the one that gives people the right guidance and tools to get a better result. I want the one where we can bring our best and smartest people together to come up with solutions, and gives them the resources they need.

In the long run, I'm still betting long on the U.S.A.

Edit: corrected typos

Well said.

Right on.

The hindsight on all of this drives me fucking insane. It's a highly contagious deadly virus. If Germany are fucking experts, they would have a cure/treatment in January. If Korea is a fucking magic bullet, then they will be able to totally prevent Covid 20, right? they have all the answers. It's maddening.

What are you talking about? You don't develop a vaccine in a month. We have treatments. What everyone is railing on here is how we had our heads so far up our asses, and still do, we let the genie out of the bottle. There is no magic bullet, but we could have been back to some sense of normalcy.

Don't think it's so much hindsight as it is giving real world examples how the response by the US has been underwhelming. If the strategy is to just give up and carry on as usual, then SK and Germany are just two of many examples showing it doesn't have to be that way.

What is perfectly clear in hindsight now is the how the initial (and current) denialism about the catastrophic effects of this virus has caused an actual catastrophe.

It's not catastrophic in terms of the death toll- which is the only catastrophe in reality. Positive cases is not a catastrophe when the death rate is less than 1%. That's the bottom line. We had states in the US issue shelter in place orders, mask orders, banned any indoor gatherings etc. What is south korea doing besides masks and social distancing? Because the sucky US is doing the same thing. It's sad that this has become political, but here we are. Actual deaths are still behind early conservative projections- thank god.

Death rate does not determine the devastation of a disease. Death rate combined with rate of infection does.

130K+ dead in a matter of months from one disease is a catastrophe. Sounds like you're in denial.

It's not catastrophic in terms of the death toll- which is the only catastrophe in reality.

It surpassed the combined death total of the Vietnam War, Korean War, Gulf War, and the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq.... In May.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Alum, this isn't specifically directed at you but this seems like as good a point as any to jump in and try to keep this from blowing up.

Can we please all try to keep this from blowing up?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Not agreeing or disagreeing with anything, but what is the basis of those other catastrophes and why were they chosen? Close to 80% of the Covid fatalities in the US are individuals 65 and older. In the US, nearly 2.1 million individuals 65 and older die each year, with approximately 2.8 million total deaths. The leading cause is heart disease at approximately 650,000. Outside of the top 15 causes, over 550,000 are attributable to "all other causes." Heart disease alone kills 4x as many each year as Covid has. Considering the number of elderly individuals who die each year due to respiratory illness or other related illness, and the disproportionate percentage of elderly individuals who comprise total US deaths, it is fair to infer that Covid has claimed a large share of those annual deaths in 2020. Data from the CDC website.

Yes Covid is a serious disease, and yes we all need to be taking precautions to prevent the spread and protect vulnerable populations. But statistics like in that visual are designed more for shock value than anything else once you put the numbers into better perspective.

Ah, the Covid deaths are old people argument, up against the strawman of heart disease, just to dismiss the seriousness of it, because "shock value." Ok.

135,235 dead in the US as of July 14, 2020 9:30 reporting. Perspective.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

That's not at all what I was saying. I know the disease impacts younger people, many with other serious long-term health impacts outside of mortality. I was saying that rather than showing a stat comparing Covid deaths with random, unrelated and isolated events throughout history, a more informative presentation would be Covid deaths as a percentage of annual US deaths and broken down by age. But it certainly sounds more sensational to say Covid has killed more people than the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.

But it certainly sounds more sensational true to say Covid has killed more people than the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.
-ftfy

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

It's also true to say heart disease kills 4x plus people per year than Covid has so far in 2020. It's also true that the 2.8 million people who die in the US each year are more than the Korean and Vietnam wars combined. One of those just happens to be a more relevant statistic to human health and demographics. One is just cherry picking numbers to create a headline.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I agree 100% with you that we need more "cooperation, cordiality, and compromise" and also with "I want the one where we can bring our best and smartest people together to come up with solutions, and gives them the resources they need."

However, I disagree with some of your points. First, we have more than enough resources to contract trace. We actually have more resources than most countries in the world to properly contact trace. However, what we don't have is the will to do it. Just like we don't have the will to social distance or the will to wear masks. It's arrogance mixed in with ignorance. One of america's problems is that we think we are different or greater than other countries, when in many ways we are not.

Also, since we happen to live in a global economy for quite some time, and we are currently living in the midst of a global pandemic - we most certainly "should" compare how other countries have responded to this pandemic vs how our country has responded to it. I think we should have emulated what other countries did to successfully control the pandemic, unfortunately we did not. People can make excuses for why we are losing, but just like in football (this is a football board after all), all that really matters is the score (or W-L record) in the end, and that usually determines which team is better, or which team had a more successful season, or which team should fire it's head coach. You can't blame the W-L record on a team's assistant equipment manager (or career employees as you did above). I think the W-L record stops with the head football coach.

HH4455

I'm less concerned it will be canceled than ever. At some point in the not too distant future, even the unintentionally statistically illiterate will realize the statistics are being used solely for the purpose of creating the next worse headline and not for making informed, rational decisions and policy.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Yes because that's how college presidents and conferences are making decisions just based on news headlines and not raw data and input from the scientific and medical community.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

This is pretty much how things are done these days.

Stats. They'll get afterya.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Hey, that's my line gif.

There's always a lighthouse. There's always a man. There's always a city.

Just imagine how pi$$ed Brock Hoffman must be at all of this.

That guy cannot catch a break at all.

How many players say fuck this season and hire an agent? We have the best shot in a long time for an ACC football title, and it may slip away with players leaving early. (That is if this season is postponed, or canceled)

Grimes reclassified. What are the chances this occurs with other high school seniors?

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

When the publication that Frank Deford, Jackie MacMullen, Bob Ryan, Mitch Albom, Mike Lupica used to write for becomes largely amateur blogs in basements, I take it much less seriously. Having said that- I doubt the season gets played without major changes- 6 games, only neutral sites, etc etc

It was a Yahoo! not an SI article.

Edit: But I do agree, SI is not the sports journalism outlet it was since the Maven deal.

I mean, even before the image I explicitly put a disclaimer that it wasn't a SI article and the link itself said "Yahoo Article" and the title of this thread references Pete Thamel, who writes for Yahoo!....

Did I really need to dumb it down that much? I just found an image that worked with the thread and used it, while citing the actual source as much as possible.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

It was clear to me, but figured I'd clean it up to eliminate any confusion. Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―

Overall, I'm not sure an image is really necessary to accompany a shared link/excerpt. Without it, readers can jump right into the meat.

My bad- I admittedly just skimmed the photo, etc. Sorry

Leave it to millennials to only look at the picture and not read the article.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I'm 37 but still fall within the "millennial" window.

We arn't the ones blowing this. We all know who is at this point. But sadly, saying so will get us downvoted in TKP.

Ironically, it's the same group that is killing TKP.

The irony to me is oftentimes I'll hear college kids/etc. referred to as millenials, in a disparaging manner. There are no millenials who are kids anymore.

There's always a lighthouse. There's always a man. There's always a city.

Gen Z is currently going through their defining moment. They'll forever be known as the COVID Generation

Edit: Not sure why this was downvoted, I'm being completely serious here. Pretty much every generation has one or two defining moments that everyone in it can relate to.

Boomers: Where were you when Kennedy was assasinated?

Gen X: Where were you when the Challenger blew up?

Millennials: Did you watch 9/11 from this:

Gen Z: Virtual schooling (elementary, middle, high, university) because of COVID.

Gen Z will be known as the COVID Generation (I've even read Coronials), not because of their reaction to the outbreak, but because, so far, that is that moment that an entire generation can relate to.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Don't say Gen Z