By John Kanelis
Are you ready for a fall without football?
I do hate being the gloom and doomer, but there might be that dire fact staring us in the face and it might be soon.
Think for a moment of what is happening to Major League Baseball. MLB has commenced its 60-game season, with teams playing in front of empty seats and piped-in crowd noise. Except that a lot of players are testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. Teams are sending players home or ordering them to quarantine themselves. Games are being postponed left and right.
MLB might be facing the prospect of canning the entire 2020 season altogether.
And so it might play out for high school, college and pro football, which is set to begin either in late August or sometime in September.
NCAA conferences are canceling all non-conference football games. The National Football League is facing many of the problems plaguing MLB, with players at training camp but falling by the wayside as they are struck down by the coronavirus. And the high schools, where communities flock to stadiums on Friday nights to cheer on the kids? How do we protect those youngsters from the virus that could send them to the hospital?
I want football to play out as much as the next red-blooded American male. I just don’t know if the time is right as infection rates continue to spike in places such as, oh let’s see, Texas … where football reportedly is king. Do you get my drift?
I do not know what local school districts will do or what the University Interscholastic League – the statewide governing extracurricular authority – will decide. A part of me wants the athletes to suit and play tackle football in North and Northeast Texas.
A bigger part of me continues to be alarmed at the infection rate from the coronavirus. If the UIL decides to pull the plug on football this season, well … I’m OK with it.
John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, is also a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is now retired, but still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook, or his blog, www.highplainsblogger.com. Kanelis' blog for KETR, "Piece of Mind," presents his views, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff, or its members.
Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.