The Dominoes Are Falling
Greetings From The Booth!
I’ll start with something positive this week. If you’re a fan of golf, Sunday’s final round of the PGA Championship was as compelling as anything you’ll see this year in the world of sports. At one point down the stretch, there was a 7-way tie for first, and a very real possibility that a bunch of folks would have to play a 3-hole aggregate to decide the winner.
There were great story lines in this first “major” of the year. Could Brooks Koepka capture his third straight PGA? Would Tiger Woods find magic in his new putter and win his 16th major? Could Bryson DeChambeau with his newly-transformed linebacker physique out-muscle
the tough TPC Harding Park course? Or would an unknown come out of nowhere and shock the golf world?
It turned out to be the latter, as 23 year-old Collin Morikawa hit the shot of his life and eagled the driveable 16th hole to pull away from the pack and win his first major in his home state of California. Despite the lack of fans, golf got this one right.
Unlike college football, which is a convoluted mess right now. Following the announcements of the MAC and Mountain West, which shut down fall sports this week, two big dominoes fell, with The Big Ten and Pac-12 announcing cancelations of their own. That leaves 3 Power Five conferences to decide whether they are playing college football in 2020.
The ACC has said it will make it’s decision independent of the other conferences. The SEC (where football is more like a religion than sport) seems determined to play, while the Big-12 seems lost and unsure about what to do.
There are many voices in college football, and many have weighed in this week. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence leads a large group of players who want to play. Echoing that sentiment are coaches like LSU’s Ed Orgeron and Alabama’s Nick Saban. Saban said this week that he could keep his players safer on campus than leaving them to their own devices at home, and who’s to say he’s wrong? The great Lou Holtz expressed on Fox News yesterday that he’s all in on a 2020 season.
There are some that contend that mostly liberal college presidents are making decisions to shut down based on politics, and I’m not stepping into that pile of you-know-what. One thing is for sure: the amount of money that will be lost by not having a college football season is astronomical. And that money drives the athletic departments of most schools, funding other sports. So there’s that.
But should money override player safety?
Where do I stand? I’m not really sure. I want to see college football on fall Saturdays. I think most of us do. Without fans though (which most surely would be the case), what makes college football unique is lost–the bands, tailgaiting, the whole game experience. I’m not sure how that product would look. And what is the end game? With some conferences playing pieced-together schedules and some not playing at all, how do we determine a National Champion? Are we playing just to be playing?
One thing is for sure: there are more questions than answers as the dominoes continue to fall.
Until next time from the Booth, GO HORNETS!