It’s April and that normally means spring football.
But right now, the practice fields are sitting empty. Because we are under stay-at-home and social distancing orders.
Unfortunately, many people are not taking these orders seriously.
They continue to gather in groups, whether for church or play dates. People are still going to the beaches (looking at you, State of Georgia). People are still hitting up trails in great numbers. And yes, people are still traveling whether via RV or car.
This means that we are risking the 2020 college football season. A prime time when many of you will use your RV, will tailgate, and will enjoy being with friends and family.
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Please Stay Home and Socially Distant
The medical experts are saying that we need to stay home. That social distancing stops the spread of the virus, gives the doctors time to find treatments and develop vaccines.
But if we aren’t staying home and staying distant, the virus keeps spreading. Hospitals will get overloaded. And life won’t get back to normal.
And it won’t just be spring football that isn’t happening. Soon it will be summer practice. And then the real season.
Without football, we won’t have tailgating. Road trips. All those great tailgate meals and good times with friends.
So I’m begging you, please stay home. Let’s end this thing now!
Is the 2020 College Football Season Really at Risk?
Short answer: yes!
See, here’s my thinking: we are looking at another month, at least, of stay-at-home orders.
April is a wash completely. We are now looking at whether we are still quarantined into May.
And if we have to keep pushing out these orders, because people won’t stay home, we will be eating up May, June, July…. you get the idea.
I don’t think it will be an on-off switch either. I don’t think that they will magically allow big groups to gather again, at least initially. I think we will see a slow, gradual release of restrictions. Kind of like how they started limiting crowd size slowly – first at 1,000, then 500, then 250, 50 and now 10. Expect it to go up more gradually than it came down.
And depending on how gradually it goes up, our football teams may be limited in how they can prepare for a season. And we don’t want to just throw them out there without the proper conditioning. Because then there will be a drastic increase in injuries. Especially considering that many may not be keeping up with their regular exercise and training programs since gyms are closed and access to trainers is limited to virtual meetings. This alone may push out the beginning of the football season.
Remember, one of the reasons that they have delayed the 2020 Olympics to 2021 is because the athletes couldn’t train properly in these conditions. It’s not hard to see that training delays will affect the college football season.
Then consider that this may not be the final quarantine period we have. We may loosen up restrictions knowing that we may have to go back under quarantine/stay-at-home restrictions if the number of cases go up again.
Think about the chaos that will ensue if we start the college football season and then have to stop it. Will it be “fair” to a team if they have to forfeit a game because they can’t travel to an away game because they are under quarantine even if the entire country is not?
Can we really expect a state that has taken so long to issue a stay-at-home order to not say “hey, we won’t issue one now because then our national contender team will have to forfeit a game” even if the situation calls for it because of a localized yet significant outbreak happens? (Looking at you Alabama and Georgia, among well, all the Southern states)
See why I’m thinking that we are completely putting the entire 2020 season at risk right now?
What About Playing in Empty Stadiums?
While the pros could conceivably play to empty stadiums, is that feasible for college football?
Sure, the TV revenue would definitely make it better than no football at all. But many programs won’t have the funds to do field teams without ticket and concession revenue. Many are already struggling as it is, do you think this will make it better?
But that still means we have 500 or so people, from the teams, coaches, staff, refs, stadium personnel, and media, that need to congregate and half or more of which will travel each week (refs, media, the visiting team).
For us, as fans, football games without fans in the seats would be disappointing but better than nothing. We will just have to up the homegating! (That’s like tailgating but at home)
Because of the dollars at stake, you can bet that the officials in charge will do absolutely everything that they can to make sure that we have a season.
And it may not look like any other team – shortened, delayed, or otherwise weird schedules. Empty stadiums.
What if a Player Tests Positive?
Back in early March, we were playing a lot of what-if games. Maybe we continue on, maybe we have empty stadiums. No one really thought that we would be shutting down all sports within days.
Then Wednesday, March 11, 2020 happened. The Utah Jazz contacted health officials in Oklahoma City, where they were playing, to get a test for a player. Rudy Gohert tested positive. It shut down the NBA immediately. And all major sporting events for the next two months were cancelled by the weekend.
One test for one player came back positive and it shut down everything for at least what will be four months now. (March already, April, May, and June all canceled already)
What happens when one football player tests positive?
Can you be the team doctor that tells the coach it is OK to put those players out there on the field when they could get sick? Or the head coach, the athletic director or school president? Can the conferences really put their teams out there when they are at risk? Or allow fans to attend?
With everything that is going on, could you really be the person that says “play ball!” and risks infecting so many people, many of whom could very well end up in the hospital or dead? The optics would be absolutely horrible for any team, conference, or league that did so.
Especially with everything that we now know about this virus.
What You Need to Do Now to Save College Football
If you can, use services like Amazon Fresh to order and have your groceries delivered in a no-contact way. (In other words, they leave the groceries at your door and then leave. You get the groceries from your front door step without ever saying even hi to the delivery person)
Don’t leave the house unless it is an absolute necessity. If you must leave, then make sure that you are washing your hands and not touching your face. Wear a mask or gloves if necessary to remind you to not touch things or your face.
For more on COVID-19 in easy to understand terms, Dr. Daniel Ketterer has a great primer updated periodically on Facebook.
Will it work? Don’t know. But it is the best shot we have right now. We’ve got about 60, maybe 90 days, to save college football as we know it for 2020.
While You Wait: Try the 100 RV Decluttering Challenge
RV Travel and Campgrounds in the Times of Corona
I know, it is tempting to get in the RV right now and take off for a remote campground somewhere. But please, just stay home.
First, if you are traveling, you will be doing things like visiting gas stations, grocery stores, and more. Every time you get out of the RV, you are risking getting or spreading the infection (the latest from Dr. Fauci is that up to 50% of people with the virus won’t show symptoms so you may have it and not know it).
Second, if you have a place to hunker down, whether your home or a family member’s home, that is one more spot out there for a full-time RVer that doesn’t have a place to go. With many state park systems completely or partially shutting down, many full-time RVers are having places to stay.
Resources and Tips for Full-Time RVers
Full-time RVers, please find a place, if you haven’t already, that you can hunker down at for a long while. Whether that is with family or friends or at a campground, plan on spending a month or more in one place. And not being able to enjoy any of the amenities.
If you need to find a park, Rootless Living has a list of RV parks that are still open.
Somewhere that has hookups is probably your best bet right now. It means less times having to explore out for fresh water, dumping waste tanks, or refilling the gas can. And as temperatures warm up, the power use is going to go up. Because hello summer and hot temperatures.
For those campgrounds and parks that are continuing to operate, they really should have all the common areas shut down, including playgrounds and other places people like to congregate. Yes, that means the pool too. And bath houses. Because those need to be cleaned and disinfected. And since the vacationer and weekend RVers are out there, hopefully you can spread out your spots within the campground a little more than usual so you aren’t on top of each other.
Why I’m Not Supporting Re-Opening the State and National Park Campgrounds
I know that closing state and national park campgrounds and even some private campgrounds is rough on full-time RVers.
But here’s the thing. Many of these closures are in high vacation traffic spots. They are campgrounds that have 14 day limits, in many cases. Or they are in hot spots, where we really don’t want anyone anyways.
And they all attract people to get out and enjoy the great outdoors during stay-at-home and quarantine rules. And what we need right now, more than anything else, is for people to stay put. Not travel. Not congregate. And re-opening these parks does that.
You know how full-time RVers always complain about the weekenders and vacationers filling up your otherwise quiet and secluded RV campground? That’s exactly how it would be if all the RV campgrounds were open.
Save College Football: It’s Not Just A Meme
Early on, you probably saw a meme going around Facebook. It was probably something along the lines of “If you told people that staying inside for 7 days would save the 2020 college football season, the entire south would be locked in their rooms right now.”
Well guess what, friends? It’s not just a meme. We are talking about real possibilities here.
If we don’t socially distant ourselves and basically stay home, we might lose college football for 2020.
We’ve already lost so much. Let’s not let this happen too!
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