Randy Smith: A Plan For Football?

Friday, May 22, 2020 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
First of all, Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon. In fact, the only way to deal with it is to adapt to it. Adapting to it doesn't mean staging protests, making threats and waving guns at people. Adapting to the coronavirus means wearing masks in public, washing your hands at least a dozen times per day, carrying hand sanitizer with you 24 hours a day and definitive social distancing. In other words, stay at least six feet away from people outside your family. If we do this, we will be able to survive.

Look, it's not feasible nor is it reasonable for everyone to hunker inside their homes and never go anywhere.
I may be able to do it, but I'm retired and I don't have to go out in public to earn money to feed my family. I understand completely about people needing to work but not without taking safety precautions.

Then, there's football. I know fans are hopeful the season will start on time and it likely will, but I see no way that fans will be allowed in college or pro stadiums. We are most definitely looking at empty stadiums watching teams play when the season begins. While the public is wringing hands and worrying about the way the upcoming season will be played, school and conference officials are planning to open the season on time and with some serious changes.

College football won't change much at all for me. Since retirement, I've seen very few games in person. I prefer to watch the game in the comfort of my home, with clean, close restroom facilities and food and drinks a few steps away in the fridge. The only noise comes from my kids and grand kids when their favorite team scores a touchdown.        

I have no idea what a game on television will look or sound like if there are no fans in attendance. I've heard that crowd noise and music will be added by the production crew to make it as real as possible and that's as good as we can expect. There is no doubt things will be much different. 

As far as high school football is concerned, the Georgia state association is allowing schools to begin summer workouts on June 8. The Tennessee schools will do the same thing June 1. There is nothing definite about when the season will begin, but it could be well after Labor Day before the first kickoff. 
 
I keep hearing that the virus will not be able to survive in hot weather. That remains to be seen but it's something we can all hope for. Regardless, when this terrible thing is finally behind us, what we remember as "normal" will never be the same. By the way, I badly need a haircut. My wife says I'm beginning to look like Bernie Sanders. 

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com


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