Football in the fall? Maybe, maybe not

Governor DeWine cautiously optimistic

Gov. DeWine on sports

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As Major League Baseball marches towards its season, two weeks from tonight, and the NBA and NHL prepare to follow just days later, many of us have mentally fast-forwarded through the summer, and into the fall. After all, those dominoes are already falling.

The Ivy League was once again the first to make the move, cancelling fall sports, including football. You remember, that conference was also the first to cancel its basketball tournament four months ago. Of course, financially, there’s not a lot at stake for them.

It’s the big-time programs that have to measure safety issues and health threats against mega-millions of dollars. One day after Ohio State suspended offseason on-campus workouts for seven programs, including football, word broke that the Big Ten will only play conference games, in all sports. If they play.

And we may see more conferences not suit up at all.

There’s even more money at stake in the NFL, so it’s hard to see that league not kicking off, even if it’s late in the fall. The Browns told season-ticket holders today to expect limited crowds, and yes, of course, to bring their masks.

But what about high schools? They’re talking about cancelling Friday Night Lights in Texas, one of the top states when it comes to high school football, and one of the worst when it comes to Covid-19.

And as we know here in Ohio, Friday Night Lights is ALL about the atmosphere: the game, the bands, the students, the parents.

Believe it or not, that’s only six weeks away.

“Let’s keep our eye on the ball. What we’re aiming to do is to have kids back in school, have fall sports, have Friday Night Football. And what we do in the next thirty days or so will determine how that all works out,” Governor Mike DeWine said today.

Thirty days is a long time during a pandemic. A lot will change. For better or worse, only time will tell.

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