Schwartz: 10 Sentences – The Waiting is the Hardest Part Edition

June 28, 2020

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

We’ve got 10 weeks to figure out this COVID thing before Hawkeye football season begins. How are we all feeling out there? We feeling good? Ten sentences:

1. Maybe the Hawkeyes will play football this fall and maybe they won’t; maybe there will be fans in the stands and maybe there won’t; maybe some people will be let in but not all people.

2. Does that clear it up for you?

3. Humans are not a patient species; we like to know where we’re going, when, how, why, and if a problem gets in our way, we consider it our birthright to solve it as quickly as possible.

4. Four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 120,000 Americans and infected on average one out of every 125 people in the state of Iowa, the country remains stuck in Phase 1 of an outbreak that appears to have no end in immediate sight, and because of that, things that we had been holding onto for hope—“Man, I can’t wait for Hawkeye football this fall”—are once again no sure thing.

5. The safest bet remains college football playing inside empty stadiums, since apparently we’ve decided to act like idiots and turn medical issues, such as wearing masks, into political issues, which means the NCAA, Big Ten, and U of Iowa athletics knows they cannot trust us around their athletes—nor should they.

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6. However, it’s increasingly likely there won’t be any football this fall, and this is not a statement I make for the sake of causing controversy or drawing attention to myself.

7. We—humans—are not in control here, and while I wish that our federal government would close its Twitter app for 2 minutes—or for however long it takes to form a coherent response to COVID—even if that did happen it doesn’t change the fact that right now nature is dominating us, and there is only so much we can do.

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8. One thing we must do is wait, and wait, and wait, and then wait some more: wait to see how it goes for the NBA and Major League Baseball as they try to re-open next month; wait to see how restrained and/or reckless our neighbors are over the Fourth of July holiday, since it’s no coincidence that a few weeks after this country’s Memorial Day fiasco COVID is once against racing through parts of the U.S., and this time it’s younger people (aka college-football playing people) who are catching it; wait to see what happens in college football training camps over the next couple of months.

9. There’s something amusing when Hawkeye athletics and other colleges across the country boast about taking safety precautions to protect their athletes, not because it’s disingenuous—it’s not: I’m sure Kirk Ferentz, Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh and other coaches genuinely care for their players—but because they actually might think they can control COVID as absolutely as they can control their athletic programs, which is most definitely not the case.

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10. Humanity is exposed—vulnerable—and when you combine that with our overall lack of patience plus the fragility of hope—the very real possibility that the Hawkeyes won’t play for our amusement this fall—it creates a new sort of feeling that might require a new word, one that hasn’t been invented yet, but for now let’s just settle on desperate.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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