ATLANTA - Imagine there’s no football. It’s not easy, and I’m not ready to try!
We are all listed as “day-to-day” these days, but with everything that’s already happened to our collective sports lives, you can’t help but look ahead and imagine the unimaginable... A FALL WITHOUT FOOTBALL!
We’ve already lost March Madness and all the other spring sports, but nothing will hurt as much as losing football.
This is not to say reasonable people wouldn’t sacrifice a whole season to make sure we stop the coronavirus. However, what makes this a nightmare scenario is the fact that no one really knows anything!
Right now we’re still in a bit of a fog just trying to get through the day and hoping that perhaps in a couple of weeks we can meet back here and talk about what a great start the Atlanta Braves have gotten off to, and looking forward to the start of another football season. However, that is not reality as we now ponder a life without America’s real passion.
Think about it, spring games and practices have already been canceled. Many programs aren’t even allowing their players to be around each other!
I spoke with FOX 5 Sports football insider Rusty Mansell and he is also reluctantly processing the worst-case scenario.
“It’s too far out to say they’re going to stop football, but today was the first day I really thought this could really happen. That would be the worst-case for all of us.”
And what about our beloved Friday nights on High 5 Sports?!
Mansell believes the GHSA will have to be flexible with its preseason practice rules.
“The biggest thing for me in Georgia would be spring practice. Usually the first two weeks of May. Say they don’t practice until after June 1st, does the GHSA give you an extra week of practice (in the summer?)”
Football is the engine that drives and supports college athletics. And culturally, it’s simply a part of the natural order of things.
What will happen to athletics programs around the country that depend on football-related revenue to run them?
There is nothing lonelier than an empty stadium
The Southeastern Conference seems to be taking a cautiously optimistic approach.
Commissioner Greg Sankey was quote in the Dallas Morning News, saying…
“We are going full-steam ahead on our planning for Atlanta media days. Last Thursday morning I was full-steam ahead on playing a basketball tournament and was disrupted, so we’re going to prepare for disruption,” Sankey said Tuesday. “We’re going to plan as if in July we’ll have the media days opportunity as scheduled, and that’s the best answer I can give you at this moment.”
Right now, players are not allowed to work out together, and that puts the responsibility on the individual athlete to prepare himself for a season that may never come. But Mansell says, warning to the guys who aren’t ready for the start of the season, whenever it comes!
“I know we’ve got a million different issues, but from a football perspective how are these 5,6,7 weeks going to affect teams in the fall?
Who’s not working now that’s going to cost them a game in the fall in high school and at the collegiate level.”
Georgia graduate transfer quarterback, Jamie Newman
Georgia graduate transfer Jamie Newman is as ready as any quarterback they’ve ever had. However, when or if this season finally comes along, the edge he would’ve had in experience begins to dissipate with every week that passes.
“He’s been through many offseasons," Mansell said. "That’s a big advantage for him. He knows what to expect. The disadvantage for Georgia is he didn’t get to practice in pads (spring practice with new teammates).. never been in the offense.. with three or four new starting offensive lineman. All these questions..”
he High 5 Sports Bunker has been quiet lately. None of us want to contemplate a season without Friday night football.
We’re all in the same boat. Waiting.
We’ll check back in two or three weeks when the leaders of several sports and programs have said they would revisit the subject of resuming their seasons if everything is okay on the coronavirus front.
The sooner we beat this virus the better.