It was an outrage. As a Nebraskan, I was already set up for a life of at least semi-boredom. As a Nebraskan in a pandemic, I was at even more of a disadvantage. As a Nebraskan in a pandemic, without the potential of Husker Football, I was not only bored; I was furious. Football is basically the one thing we have to entertain ourselves in Nebraska, aside from corn of course, and without it, I didn’t know if I was going to make it.
Husker fans everywhere shared my views, including parents of players and players themselves. True Freshman Zavier Betts spoke out on practices without masks and mandatory COVID-19 tests twice a week, which were proven productive in pre-season training. If training was safe and other conferences were playing, why couldn’t the Huskers have a safe and normal season, even if it is one without fans in the stadium.
Not having this season meant that the Big Ten colleges and universities would have to have given every player another year of eligibility, costing taxpayers more money for scholarships. That’s all fun and games, though, compared to the disappointment of hundreds of thousands of people who have been stuck inside during COVID, just wanting a little escape from quarantine. All we want is a good ole Husker football game.
Well, somebody out there finally listened.
On Sept. 16, the Big Ten announced that a unanimous vote of the league’s presidents and chancellors will make it possible to start a football season. The season will kick off on the weekend of Oct. 24 and each team will attempt to play eight games in eight weeks.
There were initially reasons not to play. I understand that, but I don’t understand why the Big Ten teams, including UNL, couldn’t have usee the same process that was effective in practices all summer in games. ESPN reports that a return to competition task force reviewed daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and proposed a data-driven approach to make decisions about practices and competition.
Big Ten football keeps me and the rest of Nebraska going during the fall, and I need it.
Coach Frost, thanks for never giving up. Parents, thanks for being willing to push the Big Ten, even if it meant a lawsuit. Players, follow the rules so that you can play safely. Fans, do whatever you can to support the system that listened to how much we needed this football season. There had to be a way. The Huskers kick off at Ohio State on Oct. 24. I’ll have my red ready to go, and pray that we don’t get beat too bad.