The Return of Football


Cooper Ams, Co-Editor

Last week marked the return of football across multiple leagues in the United States. Headlining these leagues was the NFL and the NCAA. The NCAA started playing Division I football games on September 3rd, but three of the Power 5 conferences, the ACC, SEC, and Big 12, began playing on Saturday, September 12. Earlier in the year, the NCAA was skeptical about the return of football due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This opposition towards playing college football in the fall led to the Big 10 and the Pac-12, the other two Power Five conferences, to cancel their fall sports seasons indefinitely. This caused players such as Trevor Lawrence, the starting quarterback at Clemson, to voice their minds about the need for a college football season this year. In a tweet, Lawrence claims that “People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play. Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract COVID-19.” Lawrence believes that if the student-athletes stay with their team and play a fall sport, then they will continue to practice social distancing and stay safe for the health of their teammates. This came 2 months after 28 members of the Clemson athletic department tested positive for COVID-19, which was the largest return of positive tests in the country at the time. After the push for a season from the players, the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 all decided to play their season. After the first week, the Big 10 met to revise their plan for the 2020 season, agreeing on the new start date of October 24th. 


After the first eventful Saturday of the college football season, the NFL returned with its first Sunday of the 2020 season. The NFL met in July to revise the plans for the 2020 season. The league canceled all the scrimmages and preseason games that the teams would usually play in. Their protocol for training camp was that a player must produce two negative tests over the first four days of returning to training camp. If the player produces the two negative tests, then they are allowed to start using the training facility on the fifth day. The start of the regular season was marked by the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans on Thursday, September 10th. Despite football being back, fans are unable to return to the games in certain places. Only 2 out of the 32 teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs, allowed fans to return to the stadium while practicing social distancing. The return of football, both  collegiate and professional, gives fans a sense of normalcy during these wild times.